Football is back after the dreadful international break. The Champions League has yet again given us football fans something to look forward to and these quarterfinals are no exception. In the following lines I will be giving my prediction to these fixtures with the hope of at least once getting the right results, but then again anything can happen.
BARCELONA VS JUVENTUS
In a replay of the 2015 UCL final these two teams have different realities as they prepare to face each other next week. The Italian side seems to have learned from their mistakes and have built a solid team with Dybala as their leading man. They have no rival in Serie A and they proved to be unstoppable in Europe after the win against Porto in the previous round. The same cant be said about Barcelona due to their poor form in the current season. Its true they come from a historic comeback against PSG but in recent weeks it turned more controversial than heroic. The team has struggled defensively ALL SEASON so I don’t see a positive outcome for them if they don’t improve. This will be a very close game and the winner might be decided by a single mistake but because of who they are and how deadly they can be up front I see Barcelona going trough the semifinal.Juventus can also have a shot as long as they don’t make mistakes in the back but there’s only so much you can resist if you have Messi, Suarez and Neymar constantly attacking. The Italians also have Cuadrado and Higuain so Barcelona must be careful if they want to move on in the tournament but knowing them they will again underestimate the Italian champions.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND VS MONACO
This is a must watch game if you like fast attacking football. The two teams have the most consistent goal scorers in the tournament we shouldn’t worry about a goalless tie.
The “New Henry” is what they call Kylian Mbappé, deadly 18-year-old forward that will be more than a headache for the Dortmund defense. The Germans also have their own deadly weapon in the boots of Aubameyang so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. The fixture itself seems to be evenly matched but I see Monaco advancing due to the mixture of young talent with experienced players. This mixture was more than enough to beat the mighty Manchester city in the previous round but lets add Radamel Falcao to this and leave Monaco as clear winners. I admit Dortmund have potential but they rely on Aubameyang in every single game they play so if he doesn’t show up the team will have nothing to attack with. Hopefully Marco Reus is fit for this fixture in case Dortmund gets in trouble but they will need more than Reus to put up a fight.
LEICESTER CITY VS ATLETICO MADRID
Two very similar teams but different at the same time. Leicester city has finally returned to play the football that made them champions last season, a comeback not even I was ready to see but welcomed it with open arms. The “foxes” have everything to win with Vardy in attack, Mahrez in midfield and Drinkwater in defense were able to beat Sevilla at home despite the defeat of the first game. The secret to this great success is the coordination as a team and their brutal danger when it comes to counter attack and set pieces, something that Atletico Madrid is lacking in recent games. “Los colchoneros” have made a name for themselves since Diego Simeone took over as coach but they are the most defensive team left in the tournament. The defensive playing style made them a very difficult side to beat but in recent seasons the rivals have found other ways to hurt them. One of the ways is the counter attack and I’m sure Leicester is aware of this so they will be more than practicing before the upcoming game. Atletico Madrid has a strong defense but they make silly mistakes, with a player like Vardy as your rival that’s one risk you cant take. They also have Griezman and Fernando Torres up front but Atletico are a mess so it all depends on how the game evolves for them in order to consider them dangerous or not.
WINNER: LEICESTER CITY
BAYERN MUNICH VS REAL MADRID
For many considered a final ahead of schedule it promises to have the best of Europe for 180 minutes. I cant say much about this fixture since they are both equal in strength, it can be said that this would mean a triumphant return for Xabi Alonso as he says goodbye to his footballing career this May. Similar to the Juventus vs Barcelona game this fixture will be decided by one mistake, with that being said I will just advice you to sit back and enjoy this game as much as you can. Im serious just look at some names; Marcelo, Alcantara, Lewandowski, Gareth Bale, Robben …… Europe’s best.
I must say that for the first time ever I’m going to see some evenly matched quarter finals and the hope for a Barcelona vs Real Madrid final might be possible if the impossible happens.