We’re down to the last eight in this season’s UEFA Champions League and things are really heating up. The quarter-finals is where we really begin to separate the men from the boys and with so many juggernauts still left in the competition, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the first leg ties that are set to go down next week.
Benfica vs Liverpool
Benfica have done incredibly well to get this far in the competition and after seeing off the challenge of Ajax, which was no small task, they’ll thrive off of being underestimated against a side like Liverpool.
The Reds are as good as they’ve ever been and with Jurgen Klopp guiding them, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’re able to go all the way to the final as they continue to push for a seventh European Cup success.
Man City vs Atletico Madrid
Manchester City came painfully close to winning the trophy last year and they’ll obviously want to go one better this time around. However, with the Premier League title race being so close, they’ll need to ensure they manage their resources accordingly.
Atletico Madrid haven’t had the kind of season they would’ve desired in La Liga, especially after winning the title last time out. However, after being United in the last round, they’ll back themselves to frustrate City here.
Villarreal vs Bayern Munich
Villarreal are riding the “we know we’re not supposed to be here” high and we’re here for it. The Europa League holders viciously saw off the challenge of Juventus in the last round and as such, won’t fear Bayern Munich whatsoever.
It feels a bit like Bayern are starting to run out of steam but they’ve got what many view as a favourable tie here and that should bode well for restoring their confidence.
Chelsea vs Real Madrid
Chelsea are the current European champions, they’ve won their last six in all competitions and have incredible squad depth. At the same time, there’s still a bit of uncertainty hanging over their heads with regards to the Roman Abramovich situation.
They’ll hope to get all of that cleared up or at least somewhat resolved prior to a tie against Real Madrid – you know, the most successful side in the history of this competition and the team that always seem capable of producing a world class performance in the blink of an eye.