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Who are the favourites in the Champions League quarter-finals?


Who are the favourites in the Champions League quarter-finals?

The Champions League quarter-finals this year is all about Spain vs England with 3 English sides - Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool; 3 Spanish sides - Villareal, Real Madrid and Athletico Madrid. 

The other two sides are Bayern Munich and on paper the weakest side amongst the last 8, Benfica.

The draw was held on last Friday and the big UCL nights are as follows - 

Benfica

Liverpool

Manchester City 

Athletico Madrid

Villareal

Bayern Munich

Chelsea

Real Madrid

Clearly, Liverpool have gotten the easiest opponent in Benfica who had favour from fortune on their route to the last 8, beating a good Ajax side. 

Even though Liverpool didn’t have a great second leg against Inter Milan, where they lost 0-1, they went through with a 2-1 aggregate score. The attacking flair of Liverpool should be too much for Benfica to handle.

Athletico Madrid overcame an underwhelming Manchester United side to reach the quarter-finals. They face one of the most complete sides in Europe right now - Manchester City. 

The English giants under Pep Guardiola are stuffed with attacking bulk have the ability to take out any side on a given day. Their hunger for a first-ever Champions League trophy makes them even more fierce. 

Pep Guardiola would want to take the next step and establish himself as one of the best managers in history by helping the team to secure their first UCL title. 

Villareal, marshalled by Unai Emery, have done pretty well this season. Defeating Italian giants Juventus on their way to the last 8 was not much of an issue for them. 

Juventus have been underwhelming this whole season. They are out of all the available competition and won’t be winning any silverware this term. 

Still, overcoming a stern Juventus side is never easy. But the mighty Bayern Munich with their abundant squad depth and attacking prowess of Lewandowski, Muller, Coman, Sane and Gnabry should be able to cruise past the yellow submarines.

The tie between Chelsea and Real Madrid promises to be an epic showdown. The defending champions beat Madrid in the last campaign in the semi-finals by 3-1 on aggregate. 

Thomas Tuchel seems to be the master of the knockout stages as he reached the finals of every Cup competition he took part in as a Chelsea manager. 

Although Karim Benzema stepped up and took Real Madrid to the quarter-finals, they were not convincing as a team. If they want to have any chance against a more structured Chelsea team, they have to find a way to handle Chelsea’s speed against their ageing side.

The Champions League is often full of surprises and drama. While we are busy knocking Benfica out of the equation, they might turn heavy for Liverpool. Even Villareal might upset the ‘always favourite’ Bayern. 

For now, fans have to wait for 2 weeks before the big UCL nights return in early April.

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