The UEFA Champions League has been packed up and flown to Lisbon, Portugal, where the remainder of the tournament will be played out across the next two weeks.
Traditionally the UCL quarters and semis are played over the a 2-leg home and away tie, in the revised covid affected tournament all remaining ties will be decided in one-leg, which will be music to the ears of Barca supporters!
Our in-house Champions League Clairvoyant nailed 3 from 4 tips across last week’s UCL action and is confident on going one better in his Quarter Final preview below!
Atalanta and PSG are the first cabs off the rank, in what promises to be a high octane hit-out at Estadio da Luz on Thursday morning!
Atalanta are the 2019/20 UCL Dark Horse, the Italian side have been arguably the most exciting team to watch across Europe’s top 5 leagues, scoring an incredible 98 league goals, only outdone by Bayern (100) and Man City (102).
PSG were crowned the champions of Ligue 1 back in March as the French Football Federation put an early close to the season, the Paris based side have only played in one competitive match since, beating Lyon on penalties in the Coupe de la Ligue.
To make matter worse for Les Parisiens, they will most likely lineup without Golden Boy Kylian Mbappé, who is currently rehabbing a nasty ankle injury.
All the pressure will be on the French giants heading into this contest, pressure with they have failed to deal with during similar fixtures in the past.
Atalanta’s superior match fitness should see them get on top of this contest early and hold out for a historic victory in what is set to be a thrilling encounter!
From one end of the spectrum to the other, don’t expect this match to be as free flowing as Atalanta v PSG.
Both RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid have built their reputation off the back of their unflappable defensive structures.
ATM have been so close to European glory over the past six years, losing out to their arch rivals Real on four occasion, twice in the Final!
Fortunately, they won’t have to worry about Real or Ronaldo for that matter with both knocked out in the round of 16, this will no doubt relieve some inner demons plaguing Simeone’s side.
Leipzig have enjoyed a tremendous season, finishing third behind Bayern and Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Unfortunately, the German side will be without their star striker and all time leading goal scorer Timo Werner, who has left the club to ply his trade for Chelsea.
With goals set to come at a premium here, there is a strong case for this contest to head into extra-time, at which point I’d expect Atletico’s experience to shine through.
MATCH OF THE ROUND!
Barcelona have drawn the daunting task of facing Europe’s hottest outfit in Bayern Munich!
Barca have looked a shell of their former self in recent months, dropping points left, right and centre on their way to a second place finish in La Liga.
Alternatively, Bayern have looked unstoppable, their 4-1 result over Chelsea last round represented their 18th victory on the trot across all comps.
The German Giants’ UCL campaign has been spearheaded by Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker has scored 13 goals so far and is on the hunt to break CR7’s all time record of 17.
13 of Bayern’s last 18 wins have finished with over 2.5 goals, and with Barcas defensive frailties I’m expecting this mark to be covered with ease.
The last of the quarterfinals fixtures looks to be a foregone conclusion, with City gifted a match against a side who finished 7th in the Farmers League.
Lyon snuck into the last 8 thanks to an away strike by Memphis Depay, much to the bemoaning Cristiano Ronald, whose double was not enough to carry the deadweight of his Juve teammates across the line.
Meanwhile City saw off Real Madrid 2-1 in Manchester, finishing the tie with a 4-2 aggregate over the 13 time UCL Winners.
Pep’s side are undefeated in the UCL so far, claiming seven wins and two draws, while their last six games in this competition have seen both sides score.
The Sky Blues have Lyon outgunned across the park and should be able to stroll their way into the semis in a high scoring affair!