Valentine’s Day is a day for love and it is a day for when Manchester City returns to the Champions League.
The club has not enjoyed a love affair with the competition in our early existence of playing the European event, however the romance has grown around the Etihad when the Champions League anthem is belted around the blue of Manchester.
Optimism is in full swing for fans and the team with the addition of Erling Haaland now seen as the final piece of the jigsaw to winning the tournament that has alluded them so far.
The last 16 draw sees Pep Guardiola’s men avoid European supergiants Paris Saint Germain, while also missing out on the chance to face the two Milan clubs, who may have provided a tricky tie.
RB Leipzig it is. And although not easy, we can expect to start as favourites against the German side, however the likes of Christopher Nkunku, Dominik Szoboszlai, Dani Olmo, André Silva and Timo Werner all provide a clinical threat on their day.
Leipzig’s last two matchdays in the group came in impressive wins against Real Madrid at home and away to Shakthar Donestk. Those victories certainly showed they are no pushover and have that attacking quality to hurt a good team.
Pep and co will certainly be looking for a favourable win in Leipzig to bring home for a comfortable night under the lights.
There is a such of optimism around the club following the draw, with some fans claiming the draw has been beneficial, however there have been haters that have said the draw has been rigged and Al Mubarak and co have been giving backhanders to UEFA.
Laughable, really! Especially when it comes from the followers/”fans” of a club who are not in the Champions League. Jealousy works in mysterious ways I guess.
The Last 16 draw
There were a few teams in the unseeded side that City avoided, however they have provided an excellent few matchups.
The two fixtures that stand out are Paris Saint Germain v Bayern Munich and Liverpool v Real Madrid with those games certainly being the focus of the round.
A repeat of last years final will certainly test Jurgen Klopp’s claim of advancing to the final with Liverpool fans hinting at a refund from their Istanbul booking should they not get there.
But, let’s not tempt fate just yet, we can start looking at flights and hotels to Turkey come June 2023.