Mr. Champions League himself, Cristiano Ronaldo returns in his third attempt to lead Juventus to a UCL title that has eluded the club since 1996. Juventus will square off with FC Porto in the other round of 16 match on Wednesday alongside Sevilla vs Dortmund.
Porto sits second in the Premiera Liga behind undefeated Sporting and has qualified for the UCL knockout round a year after getting eliminated before the group stage in the playoffs. They made it to the knockout round the previous three seasons, beating AS Roma 4-3 in the round of 16 in 2019. Porto advanced to the round of 16 after dominating Group C alongside Manchester City. The duo of Medhi Taremi and Sergio Oliveira lead the scoresheet with 10 and nine goals respectively with midfielder Jesus Corona once again dishing out assists, totaling six this season.
Ronaldo is once again leading the way for Juventus with 16 goals and two assists and Alvaro Morata led Juventus through Group G with six goals as Juventus won the tiebreaker with Barcelona to finish first. However, Juventus’ run of Serie A titles is in peril as they sit in fourth place, eight points behind the leaders in Inter Milan. American midfielder Weston McKinnie has made an impact with the club with three goals and two assists, giving him a starting role in the knockout round campaign for Juventus. Juventus is looking to overcome a loss to OL Lyon in the round of 16 last season and make it past the quarterfinals for the first time since losing to Ronaldo and Real Madrid in the 2017 Champions League Final.
Juventus does not look as formidable as they have in year’s past. However, one can never count out Ronaldo in the Champions League and I see Ronaldo scoring three goals this series to lead Juventus to the quarterfinals.
Aggregate prediction: Juventus 5 Porto 2