Out of the Premier League participants in this season's Champions League competition there are two clubs more capable of securing progression into the quarterfinals than the others as, according to former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, Arsenal will likely be beaten by Bayern Munich while Manchester United do not have a 'gimmie' against Olympiakos.
However, providing Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini utilises the right tactics, then the free-scoring Etihad Stadium side could score one of the biggest scalps of the round of 16 by defeating Barcelona. This, while Chelsea should 'have no trouble seeing off' their own opponents; Galatasaray.
Champions League kicks back into action this week. I can see City beating Barcelona if Pellegrini gets his tactics right.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) February 17, 2014
Can't see Arsenal getting past Bayern Munich and Chelsea should have no trouble seeing off Galatasaray.— michael owen (@themichaelowen) February 17, 2014
City host Barcelona on Tuesday inside a ground that has seen a number of favourable results this season with almost four goals scored every game at the Etihad in the Premier League (42 from 11), including victories over Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool and, most recently, Chelsea in the FA Cup. If Barcelona are able to escape the North-West with a result, then they will be one of the few teams to do so this season.
Chelsea, meanwhile, do not take part in their European tie until a week later, when they travel to Turkey for their Wednesday, February 26 clash against Galatasaray in a bout thay will have added intrigue as it sees Didier Drogba attempt to hunt down his former employers, but one in which Chelsea are still, by far, the favourites with bookmakers.
image: © jeroen_bennink