The second leg of the round of 16 of the super exciting UEFA Champions League is over and we are a step forward with the results. The 8 teams to qualify for the quarter finals are Juventus, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Roma, Liverpool and Manchester City. The draws for the quarters have been made and the road to Kyiv seems even more difficult.
The Champions League quarter final draw could have yielded much more explosive results but we are left with the potential for an even more explosive set of semi finals, should the final eight go to form.
The possibilities for the quarter final draw included a Clasico, two sets of Pep Guardiola’s derbies(FC Barcelona-Manchester City, Bayern Munich-Manchester City), a Monchi showdown(Roma’s current sporting director vs Sevilla’s former one) and more permutations pitting the world’s elite against one another. And while a pair of mouthwatering matchups await, augmented by another pair of seemingly straightforward ones, it is clear that the biggest battles are yet to come.
Here are the four that were picked out of the pot:
1. FC BARCELONA vs ROMA
There were only two matchups where Barca would have been the sure fire favorites to go through to the semis and this is one of them. All credits to Roma for displaying such good football throughout the tournament but it seems almost impossible for them to qualify for the semis in front of the Spanish giants. However, their performance in the tournament so far seems good and so fans can tie a little hope with them.
2. SEVILLA vs BAYERN MUNICH
This is another one of those matches where we can almost predict who the winner will be. Sevilla have shown good display of skills and tactics so far and were able to stun Manchester United in the pre-quarters but they have the German giants as their opponent who look all fired up as always. Sevilla has reached this stage for the first time in 60 years and they will definitely be looking to make the most out of it with the fact that they would be hosting the first leg in a raucous atmosphere which may provide them the boost needed to compete.
3.JUVENTUS vs REAL MADRID
Now this one seems a rather interesting one with the two finalists of the last year facing each other in the quarter finals. Juventus’s Champions League road will once again go through a Spanish power, however this will also be a chance for redemption. This isn’t Juventus’s best team of the golden era but it is hitting its stride in both the league and Europe. The team is certainly capable of the quality and defensive discipline needed to go through. Real Madrid have not been in their full flow in the Spanish League but they have fared quite well in the Champions League. This is the toughest of the four matchups to call, and it should play out as close as that.
4. LIVERPOOL vs MANCHESTER CITY
This match is definitely another exciting one and their won’t be any fear factor. But the question remains: Can Jurgen Klopp’s style of play hold vs Man City over the course of 180 minutes? Liverpool were able to hold on City in January but whether that would be sustainable for the duration of a European tie is questionable. These teams know each other too well and are too potentially explosive for this series not to dazzle, but it’s hard to see Guardiola not adjusting his side to account for January’s event in what should be high scoring affair.