After a two-month break following the group stage, the UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday with the round of 16.
For several of Europe’s top teams, they will have the chance to prove their worth after receiving favorable draws. That is the case for those up first — reigning champions Manchester City, domestic league leaders Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain and regional heavyweights Bayern Munich. That said, there are still a few compelling matchups that could be closely contested affairs like Inter’s clash with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona’s showdown with Napoli.
Ahead of another fascinating round of fixtures, here’s what you need to know before tuning in.
How to watch
Every minute of Champions League action, including the UEFA Champions League Today pre-game and post-game shows, will stream live on Parmount+. CBS will also carry pre-game coverage and air one match a day during the round of 16, while CBS Sports Network will also show the post-game show.
CBS Sports Golazo Network will also be home to several hours of coverage, including CBS Sports Golazo Matchday, which will begin before the matches and run until the final whistle. Scoreline will handle post-match coverage with two separate shows that evening, while The Champions Club will provide additional updates. CBS Sports Golazo Network will cap off the first day of Champions League round of 16 coverage with the return of Kickin’ It, which will feature two-time Women’s World Cup winner Ali Krieger as a guest.
Round of 16 TV schedule
All times Eastern
*one match on March 5 and March 6 will also air on CBS Television Network
Storylines for the round of 16
Real Madrid’s reinforcements without Bellingham
Real Madrid will be without the star of their show on Tuesday, as Jude Bellingham sits out the next few weeks after spraining his ankle in their 4-0 win over Girona over the weekend. It is hard to undersell the Englishman’s importance, since he scored four goals and picked up three assists during the group stage, but the good news for Carlo Ancelotti’s side is that even without Bellingham, they should be in strong shape going forward.
Real Madrid have scored 12 goals in their last five games, relying on seven different goalscorers along the way. Bellingham has three goals during that stretch but Vinicius Junior has four, while Joselu notched a brace against Getafe earlier this month. With the likes of Rodrygo and Brahim Diaz also contributing in recent weeks, Ancelotti will likely have the chance to show off Real Madrid’s attacking depth on Tuesday before welcoming back Bellingham in time for the second leg on March 6.
Bayern’s existential crisis
Bayern are the favorites against Lazio and still in the race to win both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, but this season forces the question: What does success look like for a team that has not seen them dominate in a way many are used to seeing?
A strong outing on Wednesday would be the right way to bounce back from Saturday, when they were creamed 3-0 by Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern mustered just one shot on target. It would also allow them to continue their fine form in the Champions League, in which they cruised to top spot in Group A after an undefeated group stage campaign. Harry Kane has obviously been a standout in his first season in Munich, scoring four goals and recording three assists in six Champions League games so far.
The struggles have been reserved for their other competitions, though. Bayern are currently five points behind Leverkusen in the league and were knocked out of the DFB Pokal in the second round, which has some wondering if that less-than-ideal form will eventually catch up to them in Europe. It seems unlikely that it will against Lazio, but even if Thomas Tuchel and company pass this test with flying colors, we will still be waiting to find out if Bayern have the ability to turn things around.