We’ve reached the business end of the Champions League with Europe’s biggest teams hustling to make the last four of the competition.
Most of the games enter the second leg with only one goal separating them, meaning a lot can still change over the course of 90 minutes. Let’s examine the different Champions League games and their potential outcomes.
Leicester City vs. Atletico Madrid
The first leg of this Champions League tie was the lowest scoring game of the round, with Atletico Madrid running out 1-0 winners. Both of these teams are notoriously conservative; Leicester City returning to the defensive setup that served them so well last season, while their Spanish opponents are recognised as arguably the most organised defence in Europe.
An Antoine Griezmann penalty settled the first leg, and this game is likely to be just as cagey, with chances coming few and far between. Expect a low scoring affair in this match, with Atletico Madrid progressing to the next round.
Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich were the better side in the first leg of the Champions League tie until a red card to Javi Martinez handed Real Madrid the ascendancy at the Allianz Arena. Two goals in the 2nd half from the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo means Bayern Munich face an uphill task at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The return of Bayern’s hitman Robert Lewandowski should improve the German team’s chances in this game, but to ask them to score three away goals, or win by a two-goal margin at the home of the European Champions is hard. I see this game ending in a draw, with Madrid advancing to the semi-finals.
Barcelona vs. excellentJuventus
Barcelona, fresh from their remarkable comeback against PSG managed to dig themselves a new hole, going down 3-0 to Juventus, in what was a peerless performance from the Italians. A brace from Paulo Dybala and a goal from Giorgio Chiellini leaves the Catalans semi-final hopes hanging by a thread.
However, if any team in Europe can come back from a 3-0 deficit, that team is FC Barcelona, so this contest is far from over. Backed by the firepower of the fantastic trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, Barcelona will be looking to capitalise on any complacency by Juventus in this game.
Juventus are a very professional team, littered with experienced players, a tactically flexible manager, and disciplined defence. Barcelona might have enough fight in them to win this game, but Juventus are a sure bet to advance to the semi-finals.
Monaco vs. Borussia Dortmund
Many expected the first leg of this game to deliver a lot of goals, and they were not disappointed, as Monaco won by the odd goal in 5. The game which is undoubtedly the tie of the round so far will be remembered for the quality of the football, and the unfortunate bomb scare that saw the game postponed for 24 hours.
Borussia Dortmund will have to go all out for goals in this match, which will mean taking chances at the back. This should play into the hand of Monaco, who are the highest scoring team in Europe this season, with an average of 2.8 goals a game in the league.
The attacking, carefree mentality of both teams should make for another high scoring encounter. The French team have been in fantastic form at home throughout this season, and should secure a second leg victory against their opponent to advance to the semifinals.