We are at that point of the season where every team begins to wonder if it is their season? Yes, ladies and gentlemen only eight teams are remaining in the UCL. One of these teams will be the champions of Europe in two months time.
The first quarter-final sees the champions Barcelona take on rivals Atletico Madrid. The mighty Barca faces the only side that they wanted to avoid. They don’t have the best record against Atletico as Messi and co find it hard to break down Simeone’s defense. Additionally there is psychological pressure on Barcelona as no side has ever won the Champions League two times in a row. I fancy Atletico to edge this one with Griezmann to shine.
The second quarter-final will be played between Bayern Munich and Benfica. Bayern comes into this game with a huge scare as they were about to get eliminated from the competition. But a late goal from Muller sent the tie to the extra-time and eventually Pep’s side won it 6-4 on aggregate. Bayern Munich will prove to be too strong for Benfica, and I expect them to outclass them on all fronts.
Manchester City takes on PSG in the third quarter-final. This is going to be a cracking game. Pellegrini is leaving this summer, and he would want to go out with one big score, and there is nothing bigger than the Champions league. Sergio Aguero, Silva and De Bruyne will all come out to prove a point to their new coach and to show to the world that English clubs have still got it. PSG come to this game by defeating Chelsea. Two of the best strikers in the world go head to head in the form of Aguero and Ibrahimovic. It would be hard for Manchester City to keep Ibrahimovic and Cavani quiet as they are already leaking goals. I expect this to be a tough end to end the game with Manchester city going through on away goals.
Finally the last fixture is between Real Madrid and Wolfsburg. Zidane will take his side to Germany and would want his striker Cristiano Ronaldo to continue his amazing run of form. I expect Wolfsburg to give a good competition at home but Madrid to win comfortably in the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Words by: Hassan Shahid