Ahead of tomorrow’s champions league quarter final first leg matches, we bring you an in-depth view on the ties and how they are most likely to play out…where are my sports bet people???
The Champions League quarter final draw took place on Friday the 18th of march and for the fifth season running kept apart Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, the three most favored clubs in the competition. With the ties set to kick off tomorrow, the season run-in is bubbling up rather nicely.
The draw is complete and we have our four quaterfinal ties. Wolfsburg will take on Real Madrid, Bayern Munich will face Benfica, Barcelona will lock horns with Atletico Madrid and the most anticipated tie of the round, Manchester City versus fellow big spenders, Paris Saint German.
The quarter final ties are scheduled to take place on the 5th and 6th of April (1st leg ties) and 12th and 13th of April (2nd leg ties) with 2 of the first leg ties to be played on the 5th and 2 on the 6th. Each of the 2 second leg ties will be played on the 12th and 13th respectively.
Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid-Reactions and Analysis.
Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone has gotten the better of most coaches during his highly successful spell in the Spanish capital. The highlight was drawing with Barcelona on the final day of the 2014 season to win the Liga crown. Earlier that season, Atlético beat Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-final–yes, this very stage again–on its way to the final. Rather unfortunately for Simeone though, Luis Enrique has come in as Barcelona’s coach and seized the upper hand, in a major way. The pair has faced off six times in the last two years and Barcelona has won all six games. The most recent was in January, with Barcelona’s 2-1 win in the league giving it the advantage in the title race. Atlético has had some tough draws at this stage of the competition–last season it was Real Madrid–and once again its luck ran out. That’s not to say Barcelona will be overworked by the draw; after Bayern, it probably wanted to avoid Atlético before Real Madrid. The first leg comes three days after El Clasico and it could be a season-defining week for Barcelona, which is bidding to become the first to win back-to-back European Cups in the Champions League era. It will have to do it the hard way.
FACTS ABOUT THE TIE.
Barcelona and Atlético met in the 2013/14 quarter-finals, Atlético winning 1-0 at home after a 1-1 away draw. Koke scored the only goal at the Vicente Calderón after Neymar had cancelled out Diego Costa’s strike for Atletico at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona have won the last six matches between the sides, including two 2-1 Liga victories this season.
Barcelona’s home record against Atlético in all competitions is P110 W63 D28 L19. Atlético ‘s home record against Barcelona reads P110 W51 D23 L36.
This is the third year running Atlético have played Spanish opposition in the quarter-finals – they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid over two legs 12 months ago.
Barcelona beat another Spanish team, Sevilla, 5-4 in Tbilisi to lift the UEFA Super Cup in August.
Overall Barcelona have won six of their 22 games against Spanish rivals in Europe, drawing six and losing ten.
Atlético have won seven and lost six of their European fixtures against fellow Liga sides.
Lionel Messi has scored 25 goals in 27 matches against Atlético, including three hat-tricks.
Tip to progress-FC Barcelona.
Bayern Munich vs Benfica-Reactions and Analysis.
Another Portuguese opponent for Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side at this stage of the competition: last season it shockingly lost the first leg 3-1 at FC Porto, which kick-started an enormous row between Guardiola and club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.
Bayern came back superbly to win the second leg 8-1. This Benfica side won’t cave in so easily after two dramatic late goals at Zenit St. Petersburg saw it through to this stage. Still, the omens are good for Bayern, which beat Benfica 5-1 in the 1976 edition, before going on to win the competition. After its scare against Juventus in the last round, Bayern will feel more confident this time around although striker Robert Lewandowski, has already warned against complacency, saying: “There are no easy teams at this stage!” He may be right, but Benfica is definitely not as strong as Juventus. If Bayern gets its approach right, then Guardiola can look forward to another Champions League semi-final, which would be his seventh in as many years as a coach. Regardless of whether he wins it this year with Bayern or not, that is some achievement.
Facts about the match.
Bayern have won four of their six matches against Benfica, drawing the other two. The clubs have not played each other since 1995.
Bayern beat Benfica 5-1 on aggregate (0-0 away, 5-1 home) in the 1975/76 European Cup quarter-finals, and 7-2 overall (4-1 home, 3-1 away) in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup third round, going on to win the trophy each time. There were 20-year intervals between those ties: 2016 comes next!!!
They also defeated the Portuguese side in the 1981/82 European Cup second round (0-0 away, 4-1 home) and went on to reach the final again, losing to Aston Villa.
Bayern overcame Portuguese opposition in the 2014/15 quarter-finals, losing the first leg at Porto 3-1 but winning the Munich return 6-1.
Bayern’s home record against visitors from Portugal is W9 D2 L0. They have won their nine previous two-legged ties against Portuguese teams.
Benfica’s 40 games against German clubs have ended W12 D13 L15 (W10 D7 L2 in Lisbon–W2 D6 L13 in Germany). They have won five of their last seven home fixtures against German visitors.
Tip to progress-Bayern Munich
Manchester City vs Paris Saint German-Reactions and Analysis.
Vanquishers of Chelsea, Paris will return to England in the quarter-finals to play Manchester City, who drew with the capital club in their only previous encounter with French opposition.
Just as Manchester City’s name was coming out of the bowl, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was giving an injury update about City Captain Vincent Kompany. He will be out for about eight weeks, which means he will miss both matches against the already-crowned French champions. City is in new territory at this state of the competition while PSG has never reached the final four. PSG was clinical in beating Chelsea home and away in the last round, with Angel di Maria and Zlatan Ibrahimovic combining particularly well. Add the fact that Marco Verratti, who adds so much in the midfield alongside Thiago Motta, should be fit again and you would put PSG as favorites.
The good news for City is that Kevin de Bruyne might be fit by early April, and if his previous form in this competition this season is anything to go by, he could make a huge difference to City. It seemed inevitable that City would end up meeting Bayern Munich at some point this season-but it would have to achieve the best result of Manuel Pellegrini’s reign at City to make it happen.
Facts about the tie.
Paris and Manchester City shared a goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage – their only previous meeting. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany were all in the City team.
Paris knocked out Chelsea in the round of 16, recording 2-1 home and away wins. They drew home (1-1) and away (2-2) against the London club in the 2014/15 round of 16 to progress on away goals and are thus unbeaten in their last four matches against Premier League opposition.
The French side’s overall record against English rivals is P13 W4 D5 L4 GF14 GA15.
That encounter with Paris, on 3 December 2008, was City’s last, and only, meeting with Ligue 1 opponents.
Joe Hart was in goal for England when Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimović scored four times in a 4-2 victory for the Blågult in a November 2012 friendly.
Tip to progress-Paris Saint German.
Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg-Reactions and Analysis.
Real Madrid will have breathed a sigh of relief after avoiding Barcelona and Bayern, yet Wolfsburg may prove an intriguing test for Zinédine Zidane’s men. The first-time quarter-finalists will be keen to secure another big European scalp after topping their group, eliminating Manchester United in the process. With Bale returning to fitness and Ronaldo showing no signs of slowing down, the Merengues will fancy their chances of making the semis for the sixth campaign in a row.
Facts about the tie.
Wolfsburg and Real Madrid have never previously met.
This is Wolfsburg’s first UEFA Champions League knockout appearance; they are the sixth German side to reach the quarter-finals.
Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler was in the Schulz team beaten by Madrid in the 2013/14 round of 16, the Germans losing 6-1 in Gelsenkirche and 3-1 in Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all scored twice in the first leg, Ronaldo adding two more at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Madrid’s Toni Kroos equalised at the VfB Wolfsburg Arena for Bayer Leverkusen, where he was on loan from Bayern München, on the 18th of April 2009. Wolfsburg went on to win 2-1.
Wolfsburg have won only one of their four previous games against Spanish opponents –the most recent, when they beat Villarreal 4-3 at home in the 2009/10 round of 32 second leg for a 6-3 aggregate success. They lost at home (2-3) and away (1-2) to Atlético Madrid in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round.
Madrid lost their most recent fixture against German opposition, 4-3 at home to Schalke in last season’s round of 16 second leg, yet still prevailed in that tie having triumphed 2-0 away.
That defeat on 10 March 2015 ended a five-match winning streak against Bundesliga sides for Madrid.
Madrid have won on their last three trips to Germany–but their record there still reads P28 W4 D6 L18.
Tip to progress-Real Madrid.
With the ties just weeks away…football fans and lovers are looking forward to what is set to be a Massive display of the best of european football…