The Champions League never disappoints and there are some huge ties in the this year’s quarter-final.
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League has been made with the pick of the ties arguably the mammoth clash between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. The sole representative of the Premier League, champions Leicester City, have been drawn with Atletico Madrid, who have reached the final in two of the last three seasons, both times losing to city-rivals Real Madrid.
Here is the draw in full, with the first leg set to take place on April 11th and 12th, with the reverse leg the following week:
- Atletico Madrid vs Leicester City
- Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco
- Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid
- Juventus vs Barcelona
Juventus vs Barcelona
Juventus’ draw with Barcelona means an emotional return to the Camp Nou for Dani Alves, who made 247 appearances for the Spanish giants before moving across the continent in the summer. The two sides actually met in the 2015 final, with the Catalans running out as 3-1 winners. This was the seventh competitive meeting between the two sides, with Barca winning three and Juventus two (D2.)
I think Barcelona were the team to avoid in the next round. After Luis Enrique masterminded one of football’s greatest ever comebacks, beating Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 to overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first leg, with the winner coming through the last kick of the game, confidence will be sky-high. Barcelona feel invincible and they have every right to believe that they can go on to win the competition. It’s a tough tie for the Italian champions.
Atletico Madrid vs Leicester City
The champions of England have been drawn with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. It’s so unlikely Leicester will reach the next stage so the club may have been rooting for the glamour tie against Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona, but I think this is the best draw they could have asked for.
Leicester’s defence, simply put, is weak. It’s far below the elite-level of other Champions League sides and it wouldn’t be able to withstand the barrage of Barcelona, Bayern or Real. The same applies to Dortmund and Monaco for that matter. Arsenal showed as much as they lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern.
Atletico, however, aren’t as free-scoring as the other quarter-finalists, scoring seven in six group games, and they play a much more cautious defensive game, more so than Sevilla. This is to the Foxes’ advantage. It’s a tough tie, naturally, but it’s Leicester’s best route into the semi-finals, despite Atletico’s unbeaten home record against English opposition (W5 D5.)
Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid
Now this is arguably the pick of the quarter-finals; a match worthy of being a final in itself. Madrid have actually won their last three games against Bayern, including the 2013/14 semi-finals when Madrid, then managed by Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti, won the second leg 4-0 in Munich. This was the German side’s record home defeat in Europe, thus giving Real confidence coming into this testing quarter-final.
After a post-Christmas blip, Madrid have seemingly recovered and have retaken the top spot in La Liga from arch-rivals Barcelona. There are question marks over their defence, however, with Madrid lacking any real tactical coherency in terms of defending. Los Blancos are top-heavy in this sense and Bayern could well take advantage through Robert Lewandowski and co.
Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco
Well if there’s one thing to expect from this tie, it’s goals, goals, goals. Monaco scored six across two legs against Manchester City to knock them out of the last-16 for the first time in Pep Guardiola’s illustrious career, whilst Dortmund were the group stage’s top scoring team, with 21 goals in six games.
With both of these sides prioritising a ‘you score, we score’ policy, the focus of this quarter-final will be attack. This is especially the case with a resurgent Radamel Falcao and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the lines for their clubs. Who goes through? In these sorts of goal-heavy matches it’s difficult to predict, as proved the case with Monaco’s previous game with Manchester City. It’s a case of who can score more.
Champions League Quarter Final Draw First Leg
Atletico Madrid vs Leicester – Buy Champions League Tickets
Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco – Buy Champions League Tickets
Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Juventus vs Barcelona – Buy Champions League Tickets
Champions League Quarter Final Draw Second Leg
Leicester v Atletico Madrid vs Leicester – Buy Champions League Tickets
Monaco v Borussia Dortmund vs Monaco – Buy Champions League Tickets
Real Madrid v Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
Barcelona v Juventus vs Barcelona – Buy Champions League Tickets