Last week saw the second legs of the Champions League Round of 16 take place and from those games, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Lyon and Manchester City confirmed their place in the last eight alongside the already qualified Red Bull Leipzig, Atletico Madrid, Paris St Germain and Atalanta. Now those eight teams will be in action over the next four nights in the Champions League quarterfinals.
With the Europa League semifinals now known, with Inter Milan facing Shakhtar Donetsk in one and Sevilla taking on Manchester United in the other, the eight teams remaining in the Champions League are seeking to take the next step in the competition and earn themselves a shot at a place in the final at the end of the month.
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Let’s now take a look at the Champions League quarterfinal line up beginning with a description of how the tournamenet will progress from this stage onwards.
Champions League Quarterfinals & Onwards Format
From now on, all Champions League games in the quarter finals, semi-finals and final will be played over one leg, with extra time and penalties used to decide the outcome of any game that requires them. The competition will be concluded in Lisbon, Portugal, with two quarterfinals and one semifinal played at each of the two main stadium’s in the city. Benfica’s Stadio da Luz (Stadium of Light) and Sporting Lisbon’s Jose Alvelade Stadium.
The final will then be played at the Stadium of Light once the winners of the semifinals are known at the end of this month.
Let us now preview each of the four quarterfinals taking place across the next four evenings in Lisbon.
Champions League Quarterfinals
Wednesday – Atalanta v Paris St Germain (Stadio de Luz)
Atalanta have been one of the surprise stories of this year’s Champions League. Playing in their first ever Champions League tournament, the Italians got off to a nightmare start, losing all three of their games before staging an incredible late revival to pip Shakhtar Donetsk to second in their group behind Manchester City. They then despatched Valencia 8-4 on aggregate in the Round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals in style.
There they will face a Paris St Germain side who were excellent in topping their group ahead of Real Madrid and who then came from a goal down to beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the Round of 16 to make smooth progress into the quarterifnals.
Atalanta’s freescoring style makes this an intriguing game and PSG will need their creative talents of Neymar in order to try and keep a lid on the youthful attacking zest of their opponents. I can see a game with plenty of goals and plenty of chances to kick off the quarterfinals tonight but I think it will be Paris St Germain (10/11) who are the team making progress into the next round.
Thursday – Atletico Madrid v Red Bull Leipzig (Jose Alvelade)
For me there is one definitive factor in this game and that is that Red Bull Leipzig will be missing the man who has been their main focal point in attack over the last few years and throughout this Champions League campaign, Timo Werner. Chelsea didn’t let the striker complete the competition with Red Bull and that massively weakens the attacking threat the Germans possess.
That is a problem against any team, let alone the superbly organised Atletico who I feel will now feel very confident of keeping a clean sheet. As such, I can see a game of few chances in this battle between two talented defence and I think it may be the case that just a single goal either way will win it.
If that is the case, then I see Atletico Madrid (27/20) being the team to make progress as they have better quality players in midfield and also vast experience of this stage of the competition.
Friday – Barcelona v Bayern Munich (Stadio de Luz)
A game good enough to grace the final, but which sees both sides clash in the last eight. Bayern Munich’s form since the turn of the year has been sensational and has seen them not only romp into the last eight, winning all eight of their Champions League games this season, but also clinch the Bayern League and Cup double a month or so ago.
Barcelona lost the La Liga title to Real Madrid and their form, while not bad, is not up to their usual high standards and there have been murmurings of discontent from a few influential players in the ranks, notably Lionel Messi. Barcelona know this is their last chance at a trophy this season so they should be well up for the game.
That said, I just can’t see them doing enough to stop the Bayern juggernaut at the moment, so I am backing the German side to come through with the win here (19/20).
Saturday – Manchester City v Olympique Lyonnais (Jose Alvelade)
I have to admit to being very surprised at the lengthy odds on a Lyon win in this game. 11/1 is surprising given that they have not lost to City in the two games they played against them, home and away, last season and that they have knocked out a very talented Juventus side in the last round. I do feel Lyon are much much better than those odds suggest.
However, City are looking very strong and after two wins over Real Madrid in the quarterfinals, they will feel they have a chance against any team remaining in the competition. They also owe Lyon after picking up just one point from them over two games in the League stages of last season’s Champions League.
This will be a much tougher test for City than the odds suggest but even so, I am backing the English side to win here (2/9).
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 11.30am on Wed 12th August 2020.