Kiev, here we come

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 4,393

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The Champions League is back. AFP

Kiev, here we come

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 4,393

Over two months after the group stages concluded with the top 16 teams in Europe qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase, excitement is mounting for the coming weeks.

Basel-Manchester City and Juventus-Tottenham will kick off the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday. The world of football will turn its attention to the first knockout ties as the search for the best team in Europe continues.

Pep Guardiola's Citizens, runaway leaders in the Premier League, are clear favourites ahead of their visit to Switzerland. After an impressive season so far, City will look to brush aside one of the competition minnows, who boast a superb track record against English sides.

It is harder to predict the outcome of the clash at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Juventus host Tottenham in a fixture with no clear favourites. Spurs will hope Harry Kane can extend his unstoppable run of form while the Italian champions are yet to concede a single goal in 2018.

The last 16 ties will continue on Wednesday, with Real Madrid hosting PSG in the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. Arguably the most exciting encounter as the winners in three of the last four years face the team who have obliterated transfer records in order to finally lift the coveted trophy.

Liverpool travel to Porto this week, with Jurgen Klopp's men expected to comfortably overcome the Portuguese giants, who struggled to seal their berth in the last 16 but will not go down without a fight.

Next week, Chelsea-Barcelona, Bayern Munich-Besiktas, Sevilla-Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk-Roma. The Champions League is here to stay. Until May 26, when the winner is crowned in Kiev.

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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