UCL Wednesday preview: Arsenal to the Allianz Arena; Red-hot Napoli meets the champs

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Day 2 of the Round of 16 falls on the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, after PSG buried Barcelona 4-0 and Benfica edged Borussia Dortmund in Portugal.

[ MORE: PSG-Barca recap | Di Maria gushes ]

Wednesday finds Arsenal in Germany and Napoli at the Bernabeu. The second legs will both be held on Wednesday, March 8.

Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal

How they got here: Arsenal edged PSG for the top spot in Group A, while Group B Bayern lost to Atletico Madrid and Rostov in finishing second.

History: Traded results in last season’s group stage, though Bayern walloped Arsenal 5-1 at the Allianz Arena. Bayern has won five, drawn two, and lost thrice against the Gunners this century.

The plot: Arsenal has made the Round of 16 in 11 straight seasons but hasn’t earned a quarterfinal berth since 2009-10. Bayern won in 2012-13, and is bidding to win Carlo Ancelotti a UCL title with his third club (AC Milan, Real Madrid).

The subplot: Germany and Bayern legend Philipp Lahm is retiring after the season and the club would be overjoyed to put him out on top; Meanwhile Arsenal is sticking with No. 2 goalkeeper David Ospina over Petr Cech.


Real Madrid vs. Napoli

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, centre, celebrates a goal with teammates Marcelo, right, and Karim Benzema during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Benzema and Ronaldo scored one goal each in Real Madrid's 5-0 victory. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

How they got here: Madrid drew three matches and finished behind Borussia Dortmund in Group F. Napoli edged Benfica to win Group B.

History: Real defeated Napoli 3-1 over two legs in the 1987-88 European Cup.

The plot: Real is looking to become the first time since mid-1970s Bayern Munich to win three European Cups inside of five seasons (Bayern won three-straight), while Napoli is looking to assert itself in Europe with a first big title since the 1988-89 UEFA Cup.

The subplot: Real is one of four Spanish clubs left in the tournament, and will hope to restore some pride after Barca was waxed by PSG; Napoli hasn’t lost in 18 matches stretching into late October, and will feel ripe to upset the champions.