Champions League Quarterfinal Preview
The UEFA Champions League is back with a bang this week as we enter the business end of the competition. Eight teams remain and there are some mouth watering ties ahead this week.
FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will play out a replay of the 2013/14 quarterfinal which saw Madrid defeat the five time champions 2-1 on aggregate. Barcelona defeated Arsenal 5-1 on aggregate in the Round of 16 while Dutch side PSV took Atletico to penalties as both sides failed to score in 210 minutes of football. FC Barcelona will look to bounce back following their 2-1 loss at the weekend to Real Madrid while Atletico will look to continue their winning form after they defeated Real Betis 5-1 on Saturday. Diego Simeone’s side travels to face Catalans in the Camp Nou tomorrow in what is certain to be a tight encounter. A bad omen for Ateletico is rivals Real knocked the Rojiblancos out at this stage last season and Barca have already beaten Atletico twice in La Liga. An away goal could prove vital in this tie.
PSG vs Manchester City
PSG host Premier League side Manchester City on Wednesday night in what has the potential to be a classic game. PSG have already sealed the Ligue 1 title and have their eyes firmly set on European glory. Manchester City have never made it this far in the competition and face an uphill battle against a PSG side who have plenty of experience against English teams. PSG defeated Chelsea 4-2 on aggregate last time out with Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing a key role. Man City overcame Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 on aggregate but failed to score at home against the Ukrainian side. PSG will look to make the most of home advantage in the first leg. However Manchester City shouldn’t be upset with a loss provided they grab an away goal which gave Chelsea hope in the last round.
Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid
Wolfsburg are newcomers to this stage of the Champions League and face ten time champions Real Madrid. Wolfsburg defeated Gent in the round of 16 but have struggled to juggle Bundesliga and Champions League commitments. Without a win in all competitions since meeting Gent the German side are massive underdogs. Real secured a 2-1 victory against Barcelona and look to be in a good position to secure a spot in the semi finals. They dispatched Roma in the last round winning 4-0 on aggregate. A Real win looks to be a safe bet on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich vs Benfica
Bayern Munich have their sights set on European glory as coach Pep Guardiola looks to win the competition with Bayern before moving to Manchester City in the summer. Bayern played out two fascinating games against last year’s finalists Juventus in the last round progressing 6-4 on aggregate after extra time. Benfica will prove to be a tough test for the Germans after the Portuguese side proved they can dig in beating Zenit to make it this far. Jonas is the star man for Benfica and is scoring goals for fun this season. Bayern are likely to use their home advantage on Tuesday and it is unlikely Benfica will be able to stop the rampant Germans.
All these ties kickoff at 7:45 pm and roundups will be available after each set of ties over the coming nights.