The much anticipated quarter-final draws for both the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League were made yesterday. These quarter-final games are set to kick off next month but with the kind of fixtures that were produced yesterday, the anticipation is sky-high.
In the Champions League, the draw produced these fixtures:
- Barcelona vs. AS Roma
- Juventus vs. Real Madrid
- Sevilla vs. Bayern Munich
- Liverpool vs. Manchester City
In the Europa League,
- RB Leipzig vs. Olympique Marseille
- Arsenal vs. CSKA Moscow
- Atletico Madrid vs. Sporting CP
- SS Lazio vs. Salzburg
With this kind of fixtures, the football world is already filled with discussions, analysis, and predictions. While the whole world is talking about these fixtures, we want to focus on how events will play out at this stage of both competitions.
UEFA Champions League
The first thing that is obvious is the Spanish domination of these draws. With three clubs still in the competition, it seems the Spanish sides won’t be slowing down any time soon for clubs from other countries.
That said, both Italian clubs will be scratching their heads on how to move past Spain’s top two clubs. For AS Roma, they have the Herculean task of eliminating a Barcelona side that has not tasted defeat this season.
In a repeat of last year’s final, the Old Lady will face Cristiano and co. For Zidane’s side, the UCL is their only chance of winning a trophy this season. For Juventus, a side probably already tired of dominating the local scene, this is yet another shot at glory in Europe.
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In the other two games, Bayern Munich will be wary of their “easy” draw against Sevilla, and the clash of the draws has to be the one between the Red side of Liverpool and the blue half of Manchester.
Both Liverpool vs. Manchester City games played this season produced 12 goals in total. Now you know why this is a must-see game.
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UEFA Europa League
With the way they’re playing and the caliber of players they have, it’s no secret that Atletico Madrid are favorites to win this competition. And, to an extent, they will be relishing their first leg tie against Sporting CP. With their kind of defense, they may make life hard for the Portuguese side.
RB Leipzig and Marseille have played beautiful football this season. Another thing these two teams have in common is they have eliminated two top sides on their way to this stage of the competition, Napoli and Athletic Bilbao.
Lazio will be depending on some Ciro Immobile goals to help them to see off Salzburg but the Austrian side has been a difficult nut to crack for other sides. As for the Gunners, the trip to Russia may determine whether or not they will continue in their quest to win the Europa League trophy. That’s why they have to get the job done in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium.
Which of these sides do you think will qualify for the semi-finals of both the UC and EL? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.