It’s done – the Champions League draw took place at lunch-time on Friday and we’ve got ourselves some mouth-watering games to look forward to. In this article, I’ll bring you a brief overview of each fixture along with some predictions of my own.
Liverpool – Manchester City
Champions League has blessed us with yet another North English derby! City has completely outclassed the local competition this season and find themselves no less than 21 points ahead of Liverpool in 4th place. However, Liverpool is the only team that has beaten City in the league this season, so they will certainly fancy their chances!
This season, Liverpool has shown us that on a good day very few teams can match them. This became apparent only 2 months ago when the Reds edged past City in a close-fought battle at Anfield. It’s worth noting, however, that earlier this season, City beat Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium with a crushing 5-0.
Both teams had an easy ride in the first knockout stage, but now they’re up against it! I don’t think any of these teams are particularly happy with this draw, but in the very least, this fixture saves them tiring and time-wasting trips across Europe.
Liverpool have shown us some insane highs this season, but also some not so impressive lows. It will take something truly special in both games for Liverpool to make it through. If any English team can beat City this season, it’s Liverpool. Although I think City’s consistency and insane class will simply be too much for Liverpool to handle over two games.
Barcelona – Roma
In Roma’s first Champions League quarter-final in a decade, they’re up against it as they prepare to take on La Liga leaders Barcelona. The Giallorossi did well to overcome Shakhtar Donetsk in the last round, but they will have to turn things up yet another gear if they’re to have any chance in this draw.
Right after the draw, Roma legend Francesco Totti seemed a bit more upbeat compared to most experts, who predicts that Roma simply won’t have a chance. Totti chose to focus on the positives, saying that the low expectations will suit Roma well and that his team will have a few surprises in store for the Spanish giants.
Personally, I don’t see Roma making their way past Barcelona. Messi and co are currently scoring at will. In attack, Roma lacks the dimensions needed to penetrate the Katalans, who’ve recently placed a lot of focus on having an organised defence, thanks to new coach Ernesto Valverde.
Sevilla – Bayern Munich
In the previous leg, the Spanish side overcame a lackluster Manchester United side, but now face one of the strongest teams in Europe. Bayern are currently on a run with 6 straight wins in the Champions League and will be deemed strong favourites to make it past Sevilla over 2 games.
But although Sevilla are new to this stage in the Champions League, they have gathered plenty of experience from international club competitions in recent years. The 2-time Europa League winners in the last 3 seasons, showed off some rather witty tactical skills in the 2 games against United. Bayern will have to be vary of this, but if they can make sure that underestimation won’t become a factor, the German champions should have no trouble making it through to the next round.
Juventus – Real Madrid
This is probably the “biggest” and most unpredictable out of all quarter-finals in this year’s Champions League. Italian champions Juventus has been in excellent form recently and have once again claimed a firm grip of the number 1 spot in the Serie A. Thanks to a tiny bit of luck and their massive experience from European club competitions, Juventus did just enough to edge past Tottenham in the previous leg.
Real Madrid have been struggling in the league this season but have racked up some impressive performances lately. Thanks to their recent fine form, they now find themselves in third place, just 4 points behind Atletico Madrid in second spot. Madrid impressed all of us when they comfortably brushed title contenders PSG aside in the first knockout round. The reigning champions have suddenly become a serious title candidate in this year’s Champions League.
Juventus will need a tactical masterplan of epic proportions to overcome Los Blancos. On paper Real has it all and their recent form has lived up to the huge expectations that we all had at the beginning of this season. I find it hard to see Juventus making it through here, but they sure have a chance!
The quarterfinals kick off in 2 weeks from now and we couldn’t be more excited!