20 Mar Bayern Munich and Chelsea to make all of it the way in which to the ultimate?
Pep Guardiola and Manchester Metropolis should navigate a frightening path to the membership’s first-ever Champions League closing after the draw for the quarterfinals and semifinals pitted the Premier League leaders in opposition to Borussia Dortmund and the winners of the conflict between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
With UEFA mapping out the highway to the ultimate in Istanbul by drawing each the quarters and semis, the prospect of Liverpool repeating their 2005 Champions League success on the Ataturk Stadium relies upon on Jurgen Klopp’s team overcoming Actual Madrid within the final eight, earlier than dealing with the winners of the Chelsea-Porto tie. Earlier than successful the Champions League in 2005, Liverpool beat Chelsea within the semifinal with Luis Garcia’s notorious “ghost aim.”
– UCL draw: Actual Madrid vs. Liverpool, Bayern vs. PSG
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The draw additionally retains alive the prospect of an all-English closing, with a field workplace conflict between Actual and Bayern additionally potential.
With the path to Istanbul now clear, Football4cast has tried to foretell how the ultimate rounds will form up — and who will meet within the closing on Might 29.
Whereas Manchester Metropolis will likely be sturdy favourites to progress over a Dortmund team that is exterior the highest 4 within the German Bundesliga, it may all go horribly unsuitable for Pep Guardiola’s team in the event that they fail to nullify the specter of Erling Haaland.
The 20-year-old, whose father Alfie performed for Metropolis between 2000 and 2003, is a serious summer time goal for Guardiola, however proper now, he is the most important risk to Metropolis’s prospects of reaching the semis. Haaland is the highest scorer on this season’s competitors with 10 objectives and will likely be unfazed by dealing with Metropolis, however Dortmund even have the attacking abilities of former Metropolis teen Jadon Sancho to trigger concern for Guardiola and his gamers.
Dortmund’s weak spot is on the again, as they’ve conceded 9 objectives thus far this season within the competitors. Metropolis, in the meantime, have allowed only one aim in eight Champions League video games: a 14th-minute aim in Metropolis’s 3-1 win over Porto again in October. However as spectacular as Metropolis have been, they’ve not confronted a striker of Haaland’s high quality throughout a mushy run to the quarters, so the tie is much less clear-cut that it will appear on paper.
Metropolis’s general energy, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, ought to see them progress, however Haaland may flip the tie on its head.
Who qualifies? Manchester Metropolis
Julien Laurens feels Dortmund’s quarterfinal vs. Manchester Metropolis is an attention-grabbing one for Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland.
Though Porto shocked Juventus within the final spherical to achieve the quarterfinals, the two-time Champions League winners had been the team the seven different golf equipment wished to attract.
Coach Sergio Conceicao has constructed a tricky, underestimated facet at Estadio do Dragao, with the 38-year-old Pepe marshalling the defence in excellent trend in opposition to Juve. Sergio Oliveira’s aim risk from midfield will fear Chelsea, however Thomas Tuchel’s team have been remodeled for the reason that German coach changed Frank Lampard in January, going unbeaten in 13 video games (all competitions). Their spectacular round-of-16 win in opposition to Atletico Madrid additionally highlighted their emergence as a harmful outsider on this season’s competitors.
– Laurens: How Tuchel turned Chelsea round
Tuchel has gotten Chelsea organised defensively, and he is beginning to get the very best from Kai Havertz. Timo Werner is one other participant who’s starting to carry out underneath Tuchel after scuffling with Lampard.
Whereas Porto have the power and the coach to make life powerful for Chelsea and push all of them the way in which, it’s tough to see past the English membership.
Who qualifies? Chelsea
Julien Laurens explains why Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel will likely be ecstatic to be in opposition to Porto within the Champions League quarter-finals.
A rerun of final season’s closing, which was gained by Bayern in Lisbon, sees arguably the 2 favourites for this 12 months’s competitors go head-to-head as soon as once more.
Bayern have outscored each different membership this season, with 24 objectives in eight video games thus far, however Hansi Flick’s team have proven vulnerability within the Bundesliga by shedding twice — in opposition to Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt — in 2021. PSG have additionally struggled for his or her typical successful kind, with Mauricio Pochettino’s team in an unfamiliar second place in Ligue 1 behind leaders Lille. However the round-of-16 elimination of Barcelona was a serious psychological hurdle cleared by PSG as a result of their earlier frailties in opposition to Europe’s elite golf equipment, and dealing with Bayern once more has come at a great time for the French team.
If Neymar can return to full health in time after a prolonged spell out with a thigh damage, he and Kylian Mbappe may convey Bayern down. However proper now, Bayern look almost definitely to return out on prime within the closest of the 4 ties.
Who qualifies? Bayern Munich
Julien Laurens says PSG wrestle when being favourites to win, however will not face that downside in opposition to Bayern.
It is a repeat of the 1981 and 2018 Champions League finals but in addition a conflict between two sides which have struggled for kind this season. Mohamed Salah’s reunion with Sergio Ramos for the primary time for the reason that Liverpool ahead was injured by the Madrid captain within the 2018 closing will likely be an enchanting subplot to this tie, however the final result is prone to be determined by which team defends finest.
Liverpool’s defensive disaster brought on by the long-term accidents to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez has destabilised Klopp’s team, whereas captain Jordan Henderson’s damage absence in midfield has additionally affected outcomes. But Actual have leaked objectives all season, with Zinedine Zidane’s team conceding 10 in eight Champions League video games. Liverpool, regardless of their issues, have let in solely three objectives within the competitors this season.
The prospect of the ties being performed at Actual’s tiny Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano stadium on the membership coaching floor, and the second-leg at an empty Anfield, will have an effect too, as a result of either side can often rely on formidable dwelling assist within the latter phases of the Champions League.
It is a tie between an ageing Actual and an injury-hit Liverpool, but when Salah and Sadio Mane are on kind, Liverpool will win.
Who qualifies? Liverpool
Bayern Munich vs. Man Metropolis: If the quarterfinals go as predicted, a Bayern vs. Metropolis conflict within the semis will occur, with Metropolis as soon as once more touchdown the hardest potential path to the ultimate.
Pep Guardiola spent three years at Bayern attempting, and failing, to win the Champions League, and it will likely be 10 years in Might since he final guided a team to European glory, following Barcelona’s win in opposition to Manchester United at Wembley in 2011. Metropolis, in fact, have by no means gained the Champions League or reached the ultimate, and regardless of the unbelievable success he has delivered on the Etihad since arriving in 2016, they proceed to attend for glory within the greatest competitors.
By way of the standard of teams and squads, there may be little hole between Metropolis and Bayern, though the German membership’s pedigree within the Champions League offers them the sting. They’ve been there and Metropolis have not, which issues within the closing phases, with Metropolis missing the psychological energy to beat an inferior Lyon team in final 12 months’s quarterfinals.
The one space that would show decisive: With Sergio Aguero struggling for health all season, Metropolis have lacked a dependable striker. Gabriel Jesus, merely hasn’t measured up as a substitute. In the meantime, Bayern have Robert Lewandowski, and the Poland worldwide’s reliability implies that the reigning European champions are favourites to achieve the ultimate.
Who qualifies? Bayern Munich
Liverpool vs. Chelsea: This Premier League conflict grew to become a Champions League grudge match through the 2000s, with Liverpool twice beating the London membership in semifinals, in 2005 and 2007, earlier than lastly shedding a 3rd in 2008. This time round, if Liverpool overcome Actual and Chelsea see off Porto, they may meet once more at this stage for a fourth time.
Liverpool’s Champions League pedigree all the time counts of their favour, however they will not have the ability to rely on a loud, packed Anfield this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chelsea gained their final outing at Anfield within the Premier League earlier this month, and Tuchel will consider he has the sturdiness and confidence inside his team to win once more in the event that they meet within the semifinals.
Each teams have had their struggles this season, however Chelsea have now discovered their kind they usually look recent and robust underneath their new supervisor. In the event that they do meet Liverpool within the semis, Chelsea may have the sting to guide a rematch of their 2012 closing win in opposition to Bayern Munich.
Who qualifies? Chelsea