Kevin McCarra writes that Champions League is better than it sounds, because for all its corporate appearance, this is a tournament that retains an element of surprise. With the knockout stage (round of 16) starting on Tuesday, McCarra believes that upsets are possible.
Maybe, for instance, a Bayern Munich (Wednesday it faces Fiorentina) under the command of Louis van Gaal might develop some conviction. Even Suttgart has grounds for tentative hope. Though its is pitted against Barcelona (Feb. 23), the magnificent holder is hindered a little. An understrength lineup lost at Atlético Madrid on Sunday and Pep Guardiola will still lack Dani Alves, Xavi and most likely Yaya Touré next week.