Champions League: NOW OR NEVER!
The last and final leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals are here and emotions are at a all-time high!
Last week, we saw the first leg of the quarterfinals tell a compelling story to the difficulty of this tournament thus far this year. We saw a powerful Paris St-Germain put a powerful performance against arguably the best soccer club in the world in Bayern Munich. We also witnessed why Real Madrid can’t be counted out yet and also the talent behind this years’ Manchester City’s roster.
So now the question becomes, who will make it to the next round? Allow me to share with you my predictions for this final part of these quarterfinals. Let me know what you think!
Today’s Battle Royale!
Paris St.-Germain vs. Bayern Munich : Aggregate 3-2 PSG
What a massive game are we about to witness! Bayern Munich will be looking to progress from a potential UEFA Champions League knockout for the first time since the 2014-2015 edition when they lost to Porto in the quarter-finals. In addition, Bayern will be once again without their main threat, Robert Lewandowski as he remains sidelined due to a knee injury. Will we see a relentless and driven Bayern or will we see an end to their powerful and triumphant run tonight?
Personally, I think with all the challenges ahead that PSG brings this year to the German side, Bayern’s run ends here. My prediction is a 1-1 draw which allows for PSG to move onto the next round. Unfortunately, Choupo-Moting is definitely no Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller will have a tall-order to try and fill that empty gap but fulfill his roll as well.
Chelsea vs. Porto: Aggregate 2-0 Chelsea
While we may have seen a misstep in Chelsea during the Premier League after losing to West Bromwich 5-2 last week, that doesn’t mean Chelsea can’t bounce back. In fact, Chelsea bounced back beating Crystal Palace 4-1 this week.
For Chelsea, it will be extremely important to not take a seatback and rest on their laurels as Porto will make them pay! For Porto, this is a do-or-die game in a tournament where many have counted them out in multiple occasions.
Honestly, this game could end 2-1 for either end. Who advances, that remains the question.
Tomorrow’s Closing Act.
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid: Aggregate 1-3 Real Madrid.
I couldn’t believe the scoreboard after the first half! Real Madrid had an incredibly weak defensive front and yet a powerful offensive Liverpool attack barely did anything if it wasn’t for their man, Mo Salah.
Liverpool, this week the transcript has got to be flipped, not only will you playing at Anfield stadium but time to show some balls seriously. A little bit of history on your side as for Madrid fans it has been difficult to move on from the 2009 beatdown of 4-0 at Anfield. However, make your house respected! It’s your time to show what you’re made of.
For Real Madrid, the task is simple! Contain the midfield and if anything support the defense as that will be the main issue. Otherwise, continue to create chances on the wings and let Vinicius Jr. create routes for Benzema to do his damage. I am going with a 2-1 Liverpool victory here but sadly the hole has been dug too deep and Real moves on.
Side note: (I really hope I’m wrong here!).
COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS!
Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City: Aggregate 1-2 Manchester City.
After a shocking last minute loss to Leeds United by Manchester City, this here could set them out for a nice bounce back. Honestly, if I was Guardiola right now I would realize that the pressure is on in the English Premier League but the Champions League title is not too far out. Guardiola then would need to figure out priorities and frankly, I would go all in on the Champions League trophy.
Last week, Guardiola’s side did things correctly! In this weeks’ round, they have to finish what they started.
Manchester City managed to keep Haaland out of the equation for Dortmund who also didn’t have his buddy Jadon Sancho. It is likely that Jadon could remain out and with that, Manchester City can finish the task at hand by staying relentless. For Guardiola, it will be essential to let Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gungodan be the leading voices on the field.
Meanwhile for Dortmund, there are simply too many challenges ahead. Adding to this, there are a significant amount of injuries that will be out for this match. In my opinion, this is a 3-0 Manchester City victory paving the path for a Manchester City vs. PSG potential final.
Are you ready?
If you aren’t yet, feel free to check out episode 32 of the Yellow Card Podcast for some additional insight! Episode 32 features another very knowledgeable mind in our guest Neil Caswell, make sure to check it out and follow the crew on Twitter @Podcastcard.
Let me know what you think of these predictions and may the best teams advance!
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ On Twitter).