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Predicting which teams will make UCL quarterfinals

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The draw for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 was made on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland and there were contrasting fortunes for the three remaining Premier League sides.

[ MORE: Full UCL last 16 draw ]

It was “yes” for Manchester City. “Meh” for Leicester City. “Not again” for Arsenal.

Below is a look at each UCL encounter set up for the two-legged last 16 ties, as we select the eight teams who will advance to the quarterfinals.


Predicting the winners of the UCL Round of 16

Man City to beat Monaco

Despite their struggles in the PL, City will have too much going forward for Monaco and even an in-form Radamel Falcao shouldn’t be too much of a problem. With the first game at the Etihad, expect the tie to be done and dusted by the halfway point. Man City will easily advance as long as Claudio Bravo and John Stones don’t slip up in defense.

Sevilla to beat Leicester City

Not exactly the glamour tie some Leicester fans were expecting but the Foxes have a very tough task. Sevilla have won the UEFA Europa League in three of the last four seasons and their pedigree and experience in knockout competitions is undoubted. The Foxes have to keep things tight in Andalusia and hope they can take an away goal back to the King Power Stadium. Leicester can hit teams on the break and in Europe that’s been very successful so far. That said, Sevilla is a big step up on Club Brugge and Copenhagen.

Bayern Munich to beat Arsenal

Ah, these two again. In four of the past five UCL seasons Arsenal and Bayern have been paired together and it hasn’t ended well for the Gunners. Despite their defensive improvements, I don’t think it will again. True, Bayern isn’t firing on all cylinders under Carlo Ancelotti but with Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robbern, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery, they’re capable of blowing past anyone.

Barcelona to beat Paris Saint-Germain

PSG is struggling without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and others and Unai Emery is also struggling to convince the PSG fans he can do what the Parisian club hired him to do: win the UCL. Barcelona has shown some weaknesses in the UCL this season, especially in their defeat at Manchester City, but with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, you have to expect them to advance against a PSG side which is in somewhat of a transitional phase.

Real Madrid to beat Napoli

The reigning champs will like this draw. A lot. Zinedine Zidane’s boys may have finished second behind Borussia Dortmund in group play but they are on a roll and are currently 35 games unbeaten. You have to fancy Cristiano Ronaldo ripping Napoli’s defense apart at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg.

Atletico Madrid to beat Bayer Leverkusen

A tricky one for Atletico, especially as Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco have yet to really get going this season. That said Bayer looked solid but wasteful in attack in the group stages and against a stubborn Diego Simeone defense, the Bundesliga side will not get many chances. Expect Atleti to edge it.

Borussia Dortmund to beat Benfica

While the whole of the U.S. soccer community is on Christian Pulisic watch every time Dortmund play, the whole of Europe is admiring BVB’s fine attacking play. Aubameyang, Dembele, Reus, Gotze and others are excelling, with the German side scoring 21 goals in their six group stage games. Expect plenty of goals and for Dortmund to advance.

Juventus to beat FC Porto

This is a pretty poor Porto side, despite them ripping apart a second-string Leicester in the final group game. Juventus eased through, in the end, to the last 16.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

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Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

According to multiple reports, Chelsea is attempting a double signing from AS Roma, forward Edin Dzeko and midfielder Emerson Palmieri. The Brazilian left-back is rated by Roma at $30.5 million but he could join Chelsea on loan. However the interest in Dzeko is much newer, and it’s unclear whether Roma would allow Dzeko to leave, especially in the middle of the season.

[READ: MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker]

With Roma preparing to face Inter Milan this weekend, talks between the two clubs have been put on hold until next week.

Dzeko’s agent confirmed that Conte is interested in the Bosnia and Herzegovina international but stated Dzeko’s desire is to remain at Roma.

After failing to beat out Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup for Manchester City, it would be interesting to see Dzeko give the Premier League another go, although he’d likely play second-fiddle again, this time to Alvaro Morata.

Here are some more transfer rumors from around Europe and the Premier League:

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MLS SuperDraft 2018 Live Tracker

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For a few dozen players, hearing their name called up to the big stage will validate all the hard work and sacrifices they’ve made since they were children.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. when Los Angeles FC is on the clock at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the 2018 MLS SuperDraft will be underway. Many of the top college prospects will soon find out whether they’ll be headed to the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Southeast, Southern California or anywhere in between.

[MORE: 2018 MLS Mock Draft]

This year’s draft class is loaded with attacking talent, from Generation Adidas trio Ema Twumasi (Wake Forest), Mason Toye (Indiana) and Francis Atuahene (Michigan) to Twumasi’s college teammate Jon Bakero.

But potential No. 1 overall pick is a three-time national champion, Thomas Hilliard-Arce, who could become the anchor of a backline for a decade.

Follow along below as we update the picks live as we hear them:

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Bayern signs Germany midfielder Goretzka from rival Schalke

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich signed Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka on Friday on a free transfer from Bundesliga rival Schalke effective from next season.

Bayern said the 22-year-old Goretzka signed a four-year deal from July 1 through June 2022.

Schalke, which Goretzka joined in 2013 from hometown club Bochum, said the player informed the club this week of his wish to join Bayern when his contract expired.

[ MORE: Bundesliga scores ]

“We think we did everything in the last months to convince Leon to stay with us,” Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel said. “In the end, it wasn’t enough.”

Schalke had long been engaged in trying to get Goretzka to extend his contract, but was aware of reported interest from Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Liverpool.

“We’re very happy that Leon Goretzka, a German international with big potential, has decided in favor of Bayern despite big-name international competitors. This way it’s ensured that Leon Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Goretzka scored 19 goals and set up 13 more in 130 appearances for Schalke.

The club had previously expressed its displeasure with Bayern making public statements about its player after Goretzka was praised by sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and coach Jupp Heynckes.

Heidel said “we don’t need to hear every day from the Munich people how good our player is.”

Goretzka has six goals in 12 games for Germany.

Pele hospitalized overnight in Brazil

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The most famous soccer player in the world had a scare last night as he was hospitalized in Brazil for “severe exhaustion.”

Pele, 77, was set to travel to London this weekend to be honored by the Football Writers Association, though it looks like that trip has now been postponed.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Pele collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Brazil where he has undergone a series of tests which appear to point to severe exhaustion,” a FWA statement said. “He remains on fluids while doctors monitor his recovery.

“Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than exhaustion.”

Here’s to hoping Pele makes a full recovery.

[MORE: USMNT centerback heads to Championship club]