Manchester City vs Liverpool – Tuesday, 10th April
Liverpool surprised nearly everyone when they comprehensively won the first leg of this fixture 3 – 0 at Anfield last week. It was the second time that they have defeated Manchester City this season and until this weekend, when City lost 2 – 3 to Manchester United, they were the only team to have overcome City in the Premier League.
We're down but not out!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 9, 2018
As a result, Liverpool are in a very strong position and it seems that they are more likely to be progressing to the next round. With such a large lead, City will need to score heavily if they want to reach the semi-finals of the competition. Furthermore, Liverpool can afford to lose this game, so it is likely that they will be playing very defensively.
However, Liverpool will be aware that City defeated them 5 – 0 at the Etihad Stadium last September. City will be coming to this match full of determination and with everything to play for.
Liverpool is currently leading the goal scoring in the Champions League with 28 so far while City have scored 19. They are both heavy scoring sides so while Liverpool will be more focused on defence, fans can probably expect to see a number of goals in this game.
"I'm really looking forward to the game, it will be again a real football game. And that's good."
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 9, 2018
Liverpool may be without Mo Salah after he picked up a groin injury in the first leg of this match and was then left out of Saturday’s clash with Everton. Speaking about the injury Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said, “As always, we were in close talks with the medical department to find out who is 100 per cent. And you also have to wait until the last minute, especially when you have only a short break between the games. Mo, he’s injured. I don’t think it is really serious and he can be available for Tuesday, but for today he wasn’t available. It’s the same with Andy Robertson.”
Salah was one of the stars in the first leg, opening the scoring for Liverpool and his absence would be a huge boost for Pep Guardiola’s team.
Furthermore, Guardiola believes that his team can make a comeback, “I think what I saw in Anfield, we made a step forward in terms of personality to play these kinds of games, like I never said before. Last season we are not able to get the feeling that we are ready to compete in Europe. Right now, I think we are still not ready to win the Champions League, but we make a step forward and in that competition there’s something special in terms of the quality of opponent and anything can happen. But I think we made a magnificent group stage, the first game in Basel was so so good, and OK we have one more game, we will see what happens.”
This promises to be a hugely exciting game. Manchester City are clear favourites to win at 4/9 while Liverpool are at 11/2. However, the Reds are favourite to qualify for the next round at 1/9 while City are at 5/1.
Roma vs Barcelona – Tuesday, 10th April
Barcelona convincingly won the first leg of this match 4 – 1 at home last week, putting them in a strong position going into this leg. However, Roma have an away goal and this will give them some hope of overcoming the Spanish giants.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 9, 2018
Roma have the home advantage in this game but have a huge amount of work to do if they are to reach the semi-finals. They will also be aware that they haven’t defeated Barcelona since February 2002. In their last meeting in Rome the game ended in a 1 – 1 draw, they then lost 6 – 1 to Barcelonan in Spain in 2015 before playing last week.
Barcelona was in good form over the weekend, defeating Leganes 3 – 1. While they have not been quite as consistent in recent weeks as they were at the start of the season, they are still playing extremely well and are sure to feel confident going into this match.
Worryingly for Roma fans, the team lost at home to Fiorentina over the weekend, conceding two goals and failing to score any of their own. Combined with the two own goals they gifted Barcelona in the first leg of this match, the team is going to be feeling a huge amount of pressure.
Nonetheless, Roma will come out fighting with Federico Fazio declaring on Instagram, “As long as the heart beats, we will fight… Forza Roma for life!”
Despite this, Barcelona are strong favourites to win this match with odds of 13/20 while Roma have been given odds of 4/1. The chances of Roma reaching the semi-finals, by defeating Barcelona at least 3 – 0, are even more remote at 28/1 while the bookies think that Barcelona’s place is basically guaranteed and are offering odds of 1/50.
The match could well be a lively one, but it seems that Roma’s fans are set for even more disappointment.
Bayern Munich vs Sevilla – Wednesday, 11th April
When Sevilla opened the scoring in the first leg of this match fans will have hoped that the team was on the way to providing a shock result. However, Bayern Munich battled back and scored two to win 1 – 2.
As a result, Bayern have two important away goals coming into this game and Sevilla will need to keep a clean sheet and score heavily if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Sevilla also lost heavily over the weekend, 4 – 0 to Celta de Vigo, and will certainly be feeling the pressure ahead of this second leg. Bayern Munich on the other hand comfortably won 1 – 4 against Augsburg and in doing so secured their sixth Bundesliga title in a row. With this match taking place on home territory, they are likely to already be thinking about the semi-finals.
Despite this, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes has said that the side “will have to play better” if they want to win the Champions League this season. He believes that Sevilla started the first leg stronger than Bayern and that they need to avoid this to be sure of victory this week.
When Sevilla coach, Vincenzo Montella, was asked about the team’s chances in the second leg he answered, “Few, but we’re going to play with the same amount of pride, or more. Things are made possible if you believe and I continue believing. Our percentage [of going through] is low, but we have to play them.”
Bayern have won this competition five times and having secured their league title they will be able to throw everything they have into winning the Champions League once again. The team has been playing superbly at home this season with fantastic performances from players such as Lewandowski, Muller and Robben.
As a result, it is no surprise that Bayern Munich are strong favourites to win this match at 2/9 while Sevilla are outsiders at 14/1. Furthermore, Munich is at 1/50 to qualify for the semi-finals while Sevilla is at 16/1. This suggests that Sevilla do have an outside chance of making it through, and they have produced some surprise result in the past. However, it seems more likely that Bayern will maintain their unbeaten home record.
Real Madrid vs Juventus – Wednesday, 11th April
Real Madrid are making excellent progress in their quest to win the Champions League for a third time in a row. They thrashed Juventus 0 – 3 in the first leg of this match, not only giving them a huge lead, but also a lead based upon away goals. As a result, Juventus have a huge task ahead of them if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Real Madrid have not lost a match in a long time now. They have won all their recent La Liga games and comfortably saw off Paris Saint-Germain in the last round of the Champions League. Juventus have also had a very strong season in Serie A, they have lost just two games and drawn three, and now have a 7 point lead at the top of the table. However, after last week’s performance their confidence will have taken a big hit.
Everything seems to be in Madrid’s favour for this match, they have the home advantage, a three-goal lead, and a hugely impressive team. Despite this, Juventus’ boss, Massimiliano Allegri believes that his team can make some form of comeback.
“You can have no complaints when you lose 3-0 but for the first hour it was more evenly matched than the final in Cardiff and the games [in this season’s group stage] against Barcelona,”’ Allegri said. “The whole world will be watching on Wednesday and we have to produce a top performance.’”
However, while Allegri is sure to do everything he can to encourage his team, Real Madrid are firm favourites to win at 4/7 while Juventus are at 19/4. Furthermore, Madrid are at 1/100 to qualify for the semi-finals while Juventus are at 40/1.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) April 9, 2018