The time has come. The prayers to myself to finally make this the season that I, Zlatan, win the Champions League have been completed and the Champions League round of 16 ties are set. Why have I not answered my own prayers sooner? Because Zlatan works in mysterious ways. Now it’s time for the Zlanalysis.
PSG v Chelsea
Zlatan Zlays: A rematch of last season’s quarterfinal and a reunion of the Coalition Against Pep. Jose Mourinho said that this is what he wanted and since I was not able to play in the second leg last season, it is what I want, as well. Though Jose and I have an excellent relationship as co-editors of our newly renamed coalition newsletter The Pep Guardiola Steals Children’s Noses and Never Gives Them Back Telegraph, we both know that we must fight each other to the death in order to ensure that the strongest Zlat-one advances, finally destroys Pep, and performs a heartfelt interpretive dance at their fallen brother’s funeral.
Prediction: I will be dancing. And David Luiz will hug everyone, giving Chelsea at least one penalty kick.
Man City v Barcelona
Zlatan Zlays: This is another repeat, but Man City might have a chance this time. If Lionel Messi suddenly retires to hug puppies for a living and they tear up their own pitch in an attempt to make Xavi refuse to let any of his teammates play on it. Both of these are very likely scenarios, though.
Prediction: Someone is buying James Milner a dog costume right now.
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Zlatan Zlays: Diego Simeone is someone I Zlike a Zlot. He will look to make an example of Bayer as a warning to the others. He didn’t take losing in the final last season well. It will only drive him to be more ruthless.
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund
Zlatan Zlays: Is it a coincidence that neither of these clubs are what they once were and neither of them have Zlatan? No. No it is not.
Prediction: The winner here will be sadder than the loser because their own pain is only being delayed. Like if Morrissey was the manager of a Starbucks and he had to fire several of his employees three weeks before going out of business.
Schalke v Real Madrid
Zlatan Zlays: The story of David and Goliath is one that has given hope to underdogs for generations. But what about the stories of all the battles Goliath won with ease before meeting his fate against David? They are just the forgotten and unspoken backstory required to establish Goliath’s power.
Prediction: Schalke will be one of those guys.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich
Zlatan Zlays: Enjoy this, Pep. Enjoy it just as you enjoy your unbeaten record in the Bundesliga and your leather pants at Oktoberfest. Because just as it did last season, your time will come. And, Zlatan willing, I will be there holding the watch.
Prediction: I am ready for you, Pep. But this isn’t a prediction of tomorrow. It’s one of today that has already come true.
Arsenal v Monaco
Zlatan Zlays: Arsenal have been eliminated in the round of 16 each of the last four seasons and yet their fans are still overjoyed by this “easy” draw. How do they not see that losing to Monaco in the round of 16 will be even worse than losing to Bayern or Barcelona again?
Prediction: Arsene Wenger will have one last cigarette on the bench in Monaco. Maybe a whole bottle of cognac, too.
Basel v Porto
Zlatan Zlays: This isn’t a part of the actual competition, right? It’s just a side thing UEFA is doing like for charity, isn’t it? Like a “Feel Good Final” or something where both teams get medals after the second leg? Good for them.
Prediction: Their parents will be very proud.