The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals first-leg produced thrillers, drama and a barrage of goals. Hence, the second leg is expected to be even more nerve-racking with everything to play for.
While some teams hold relatively healthy leads going into this round of matches, there is still plenty that could change in the final 90 minutes or more.
The final four of the UEFA Champions League will be decided this week ab
mid plenty of excitement.
PSG vs Bayern Munich (Parc Des Princes)
A fascinating five-goal thriller at the Allianz Arena ended with PSG holding a slim lead after the first leg. However, the Champions League holders will hope to overturn this deficit when they travel to France.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men come into this tie on the back of a comfortable 4-1 win over Strasbourg in Ligue 1.
The French giants will be wary of their home form on the continent having won just one of their last five. Pochettino will be counting on the pace and combination of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to beat the visitors’ defensive high line.
Similarly, the Argentine manager has his work cut out in shoring up his defence with Marqinhos absent.
Bayern saw its 17-match unbeaten run in Europe ended by PSG. The Bavarians have a daunting task in overcoming this result especially with the absence of Robert Lewandowski. The Champions could only manage a 1-1 draw against Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Hansi Flick will be hoping for an early goal from his side to test the mettle of his opponents.
The German team will also need to devise a strategy to cope with the Parisiens on the break.
This encounter is expected to produce a goal-fest.
Prediction: PSG 4-2 Bayern Munich (PSG to qualify)
Chelsea vs Porto (Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan)
Chelsea has one leg fully planted in the semi-finals after a comfortable 2-0 first-leg win against Porto.
Since the 5-2 loss to West Brom in the Premier League, the Blues have rebounded perfectly. They cruised past Crystal Palace 4-1 at the weekend.
Thomas Tuchel’s men can afford to be reactive against the Portuguese side. The Londoners have three consecutive clean sheets in Europe. Another defensive perfection will see them progress to the last four for the first time since the 2013/14 season.
On the other hand, Porto faces a gigantic task in trying to overcome the first-leg result. Sergio Conceicao’s men will need to play a perfect game to advance.
The 2004 champions defeated Tondela 2-0 at weekend in the Premieira Liga.
Mehdi Taremi and Sergio Oliveira will be key for Os Dragoes (The Dragons) in trying to breach Chelsea’s miserly defence.
However, they will also get inspiration from their second-round encounter against Juventus.
Everything points to a cagey affair.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-0 Porto (Chelsea to qualify)
Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City (Signal Iduna Park)
Manchester City holds a slender lead courtesy of Phil Foden’s late goal. However, this tie is finely poised with Dortmund needing just a goal to advance to the semi-finals.
The Black and Yellows managed a 3-2 win against Stuggart in the Bundesliga last weekend.
Edin Terzic’s men are not particularly high on confidence as their leaky defence continues to be a source of worry. Erling Braut Haaland has not scored in the last three matches for the club. However, the Champions League’s highest scorer will be eager to end his drought ahead of this match.
The Cityzens suffered a shocking loss to Leeds United at the weekend. Although, Pep Guardiola put out a much-changed team.
The Catalan manager would still expect a reaction from his team when they travel to Germany.
Kevin De Bruyne will be at the centre of everything for the English leaders. The Manchester side will need to be clinical in front of goal to gain qualification to the semi-finals.
There will be goals in this clash. In fact, plenty of it.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2-3 Manchester City (City to qualify)
Liverpool vs Real Madrid (Anfield)
Liverpool will have to pull off their best performance of the season to qualify for the semi-finals. The Reds were outdone by a Vinicius masterclass in the first leg, losing 3-1 to Real Madrid.
Jürgen Klopp’s men needed a last minute goal to defeat Aston Villa at the weekend.
For the German tactician, attack will be the best form of defence. Diogo Jota will need to replicate his fine form when the Spaniards come visiting. Mohamed Salah will also fancy his chances against Zinedine Zidane’s makeshift defence.
Los Blancos (The Whites) go into this tie brimming with confidence after completing a double against rivals Barcelona in La Liga.
Karim Benzema and Vincius will be hoping for another field night when they travel to Anfield.
The former Champions League winners will look to soak up the pressure by committing plenty behind the ball. However, they will be quick to exploit the spaces vacated by the opponent.
This fixture is expected to be keenly contested.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Real Madrid (Madrid to qualify)