A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to his homeland when Juventus faces Porto in the first leg of the round of 16. The Portugal forward shows no sign of slowing down despite turning 36 earlier this month. He has scored three goals in his last five matches and also netted to help Juventus win its first trophy under coach Andrea Pirlo in the Italian Super Cup last month. Porto’s recent poor results have left the club 10 points behind Portuguese league leader Sporting Lisbon. Porto hasn’t played in the knockout stage of the Champions League since losing to eventual champion Liverpool in the 2018-19 quarterfinals. Juventus beat Porto home and away without conceding a goal the last time the two sides met at the same stage four years ago. In the other match, struggling Borussia Dortmund travels to Spain to visit a red-hot Sevilla squad that has won nine straight matches in all competitions, including against Barcelona in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey last week. The German club, meanwhile, has just one win from its last six games.
Manchester City can move 10 points clear in the Premier League by beating Everton at Goodison Park in a game rearranged after a COVID-19 outbreak in City’s squad in December. City is seeking a 12th straight win in the league and is likely to welcome back star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who has missed the last month because of a hamstring injury. City manager Pep Guardiola will be without in-form midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, however, as the Germany international has a minor groin problem. Seventh-place Everton could move level on points with Merseyside rival Liverpool with a win but is without injured top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin. In another rearranged game, Fulham heads to Burnley seeking a win to move closer to escaping the relegation zone. Fulham is in third-to-last place, seven points from safety.
Atlético Madrid visits Levante looking to increase its Spanish league lead over Real Madrid to eight points. The game was postponed from the second round as some teams were given extra time to rest after participating in European competitions later into last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Atlético is seeking its 10th victory in its 11 league matches, with its only setback a 2-2 draw at home against Celta Vigo two rounds ago. Levante, sitting 11th, can move up three places with a win. It is winless in three games in all competitions but managed to advance to the Copa del Rey semifinals for the first time in 86 years.
Marseille plays one of its two games in hand, hosting Nice at Stade Velodrome and looking to end a seven-game winless run in the league. Marseille’s last win was 3-1 at home to Montpellier on Jan. 6 and it has only scored four league goals since. Marseille finished Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Bordeaux with nine players after two red cards. A much-needed win would move Marseille up to sixth and perhaps go some way to appeasing the high tensions between fan groups and the club’s under-pressure president. Inconsistent Nice was unlucky to lose 2-1 at defending champion Paris Saint-Germain last weekend, playing some attractive attacking soccer, and a win would move it up to 12th place.
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