DStv football fans can look forward to Last 16, first-leg action from the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League on the midweek of Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 February 2021.
Tuesday 23 February sees reigning European kings Bayern Munich face a tricky match at the Stadio Olimpico against Lazio at 9pm on SuperSport Variety 1 (DStv Channel 206). While Bayern breezed through the group stage (topping Group A by seven points ahead of Atletico Madrid and suffering zero losses in the process) they will still be wary of a potent Le Aquile which has been on the rise in Serie A in recent weeks and boasts dangerous attackers such as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and the prolific Ciro Immobile.
“Lazio were in Dortmund’s group, so I watched the games,” said Bayern forward Thomas Muller. “They’re an opponent who can be very awkward in attack, especially with Ciro Immobile. Caution is advised, but of course we’re looking forward to the next round. Rome is a beautiful city and we have good memories of playing Roma there.”
Tuesday also features a potential thriller between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea at 9pm on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Premier League (DStv Channel 201 & 203). The Blues have made progress under new manager Thomas Tuchel – who took Paris Saint-Germain to last season’s final – but they’ll need to produce something special when they come up against the La Liga leaders, who have been in imperious form under the guidance of Diego Simeone.
Wednesday 24 February sees Manchester City looking to translate their domestic dominance to the European stage when they face Borussia Monchengladbach at 9pm on SuperSport Premier League (DStv Channel 203). This first-leg match will be staged in Budapest, Hungary as German health authorities have banned travellers from the United Kingdom over concern for their Covid-19 variant.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola insists his side fears no one: “I’m not scared, I couldn’t care less whether the opponents are worried or not,” he explained.
“I’m pretty sure that they’re not because every manager and team playing against another team always believes ‘I can beat them’. What I am concerned about is to maintain, to improve and to improve our game. And, of course to maintain our results. If we make a bad game and the opponent is better we are going to congratulate them.”
The same evening also sees a fascinating clash between Atalanta and Real Madrid in Bergamo at 9pm on SuperSport Grandstand and SuperSport Variety 1 (DStv Channel 201 & 206), with La Dea hoping to take full advantage of Los Blancos’ inconsistencies through the season. The Spanish giants are also set to be missing key defender Sergio Ramos, though Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini says it is “sad” that the player will be absent.
“We did hear about that [Ramos likely to miss both legs of the tie due to knee surgery], but we can’t go around celebrating because a player has knee surgery. It’s disappointing and always sad,” explained Gasperini.
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