- Associated Press - Monday, March 10, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Protecting 2-0 leads from the first leg of their round-of-16 matches, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are heavily favored to advance in the Champions League this week when they play return matches at home.

Yet there’s enough evidence to suggest Europe’s two heavyweight teams still have plenty of work to do.

Barcelona has lost three of its last six matches in the Spanish league, giving Manchester City renewed hope the two-goal deficit may not be too much to bridge.

Arsenal, meanwhile, heads to Bayern having won 2-0 at the Allianz Arena in a round-of-16 second leg last season.

In this week’s other second legs, Atletico Madrid leads AC Milan 1-0 and Paris Saint-Germain is 4-0 in front against Bayer Leverkusen.


Here is a lookahead to the games in Europe’s top knockout competition on Tuesday and Wednesday:


Bayern is heeding the lesson learned from losing to Arsenal at home in the last 16 last season, when only away goals ensured progress before it went on to win the title. Another 2-0 loss on Tuesday would level the aggregate score.

“If we let Arsenal have the ball, we’ll have big, big problems,” said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who otherwise has little to worry about.

Guardiola had a full squad to choose from for Saturday’s 6-1 rout at Wolfsburg. Defender Holger Badstuber was among the 20 players to travel after recovering from a torn cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The win was Bayern’s 16th in a row, a record in the Bundesliga, where the side is undefeated in 49 games.

In inspiring Arsenal to a 4-1 win over Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil returned to the kind of form that persuaded the Gunners to break their club record to sign him from Real Madrid in the summer.



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