Predicting the quarter-final line-up of Champions League
The first leg of Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League threw up some very interesting results. With the second legs yet to be played, we take a look at how the teams currently stand and the 8 clubs that can be expected to make it to the quarter-finals.
Liverpool were upsetted by a dogged Atletico Madrid, who scored in the 4th minute and did not allow the Champions League holders to have a clear sight at goal. The punters are still giving 63% chances to Liverpool as the second leg is being played at their den, Anfield, but experts believe that if there’s one man that can pull off a goalless draw, it has to be Diego Simeone. For now, we will go against the odds as an away goal can turn the tide in ATM’s favour.
At the Westfalenstadion, Borussia Dortmund made little of the two costliest players in the world. Erling Braut Haland continued his meteoric rise and scored a brace, helping Dortmund to a 2-1 victory against PSG. The second leg, though, will have its own challenges for BVB. Kylian Mbappe is on song and it will be very difficult to stop him on his home ground. In this tie, PSG still hold the key and can be expected to win.
Atlanta and Valencia ended one-way, and the second leg can be expected to follow that. Leading 4-1, Atlanta can be expected to make it to the quarters without breaking much sweat. At the Hotspur Stadium, Timo Werner has given RB Leipzig the lead, but the tie can still swing both ways. It will take Tottenham a lot of work to win away, and we give Leipzig the edge.
In London, Chelsea saw one of the more ignominious defeats under Frank Lampard, falling 3-0 against a rampaging Bayern Munich. The German champions can be expected to play spoilsport with Lampard’s plans, and at home, they have been characteristically dominant at home and the game can be expected to turn their way. Chelsea could well see the opponent’s lead increase in the tie.
The tie between Napoli and Barcelona might be drawn at 1-1, but it will be down to the excellence of the imperious Lionel Messi and how he’s contained by the Napoli defences. Arturo Vidal may be banned from the tie due to a red card he earned in the last game, but Barcelona will still start as favourites at Nou Camp.
Lyon’s 1-0 victory at Juventus may be termed an upset, but the French club certainly have the ability to upset Juve in Italy. The chances of that happening though are minuscule. With Cristiano Ronaldo and a lot of other goalscorers, The Old Lady of Turin have enough firepower to turn the tables in the tie. Juventus still remain firm favourites.
The last and the most interesting tie in Round of 16 saw Manchester City saw defeat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu helped by the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian will lead the blue side of Manchester in the second leg hoping to avoid any major mishaps. Under Zinedine Zidane, the Los Blancos have won 3 Champions Leagues and know how to make a comeback. We still give Pep Guardiola’s well-drilled City the edge in this tie.
The second legs, thus, pose some very interesting situations and they will be helmed by some very smart minds in world football while great players take the centre stage, yet again. Grab your popcorn and get ready for this tumultuous ride!
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