Breaking Down The Champions League Quarterfinal Matchups

The Champions League quarterfinal fixtures are set and will see some very mouthwatering encounters.

The Champions League quarterfinal draw took place on Friday in Nyon, Switzerland and has left some very entertaining matchups with the first legs taking place on the 11th-12th of April and the second legs on the 18th-19th of April: 

Atletico Madrid vs. Leicester City

Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Juventus vs. Barcelona  


Let’s get right to it. How do these teams matchup and who are the favorites to advance to the Champions League semifinals?

Atletico Madrid vs. Leicester City

Diego Simeone’s experienced and talented Atletico Madrid team vs. Craig Shakespeare’s improved and rejuvenated Leicester City side. On paper, it would look to be an easy encounter for Atletico Madrid, but don’t count out Leicester City just yet.

The English side seems to have found its old form since the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. They’ve won their last two EPL games and just eliminated Sevilla in the Champions League round of 16. If Leicester could eliminate Sevilla, the three-time defending Europa League champions and currently sit third in the La Liga table, there is no reason to believe they cannot at least give Atletico a run for their money.

On the other hand, despite being beneath Sevilla in the La Liga table, this is Atletico’s fourth straight year qualifying for the Champions League Quarter-Finals and have made it to two of the last three Champions League Finals. One things for sure, regardless of who goes through, it’s going to be a hard fought series with both teams leaving everything they have on the field.    

Favorite: Atletico Madrid  

Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco

Two teams with high potent offenses going head to head that almost mirror one another. Both have two young and up in coming managers that play a very good style of football, score many goals, struggle defensive, and have two 18-year wonderkids starting in their teams (Christian Pulisic and Kylian Mbappé).

Dortmund may be inconsistent in the Bundesliga, but they are in good form when the Champions League comes around. They finished atop their group that included Real Madrid and, despite losing the first leg, smashed Benfica in the returned fixture 4-0. Monaco on the flipside are first in Ligue 1 and just upset English money spenders Manchester City in a thrilling two legged encounter that saw a total of 12 goals. Could we see another high scoring two legged thriller? 

Favorite: Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

The European Clasico. Two of Europe’s most successful clubs meet once again in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Like the Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco fixture, these two are also a mirror image of one another this season. They’re both first in their respective leagues, finished second in their Champions League groups, have the best and most expensive sides in the world with man managers who are limited tactically, and neither team is really playing a good brand of football this season.

It will also see a mentor v. protege encounter with Carlo Ancelotti going up against his former Real Madrid assistant Zinedine Zidane. Despite all the talent on the field, this two-legged affair will be determined based on which manager gets his tactics right.

As I said earlier, Ancelotti and Zidane aren’t the best tactical managers in the world. On the field, there is not much of a difference between this Bayern Munich and Real Madrid side and both will already be self motivated for this heavyweight encounter.

In these kind of games, it’s the manager that needs to step up with a proper lineup and a great tactical analysis in order to benefit his team and deactivate the other. Based on current form, Bayern Munich are slight favorites because they have been more consistent in the Bundesliga and Champions, but this two legged matchup is really up in the air.

Favorite: Bayern Munich    

Juventus vs. Barcelona

A rematch of the 2015 Champions League Final. A lot’s changed since that famous night in Berlin. Barcelona still have the MSN (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) up top, while Juventus have only gotten stronger in the last two years with the signings of Dybala, Pjanic, and Higuain. Barcelona may be everyones favorite to go through, but no Italian side is ever easy to play against, especially this Juventus side.

Despite Barcelona’s remarkable comeback against PSG, they haven’t been playing well this season and their defensive frailties are more evident when the MSN can’t bail them out in attack. Regardless, it will be a fantastic two legged affair between two sides with a distinct football ideology. 

Favorite: Barcelona 

Which teams will make it to the Champions League Semi-Finals? We’ll find out soon enough. 

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