Cote et Match

Blog de Christophe Chavarot

8 remaining teams gear up for Champions League quarterfinals

Time is quickly running out for the eight surviving teams that are still in the race for the UEFAmost coveted trophy in European football.

Winning the Champions League is the best case scenario and last year it was Real Madrid who lifted the trophy.

They will be trying to replicate that performance but this time they need to get past their city rivals as they will take on Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals.

In the domestic championship these games were balanced and Real Madrid was not particularly successful over the last couple of years. Having home pitch advantage will mean a great deal for the reigning champions, but in the opening like they will be playing on the road.

It is essential for them to score at least once, as they have the ability of steamrolling past any team when they play at Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico Madrid struggled over the weekend against a mediocre opponent, but they chose to rest key players, to have them fit for this fixture.

Bayern Munich won the trophy two years ago, but failed to defend it last year and is not going to have an easy mission against Porto.

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The Portuguese side is dangerous when having home pitch advantage, but recently had a hard time keeping clean sheets. This will be a problem against the offensive minded German team that is expected to come out firing on all cylinders, trying to win the first leg.

Barcelona missed out some great opportunities against Sevilla over the weekend and allowed the hosts to close the gap after scoring twice in the first half. They had to settle for one point and the race for the Primera Division trophy was reignited, with Real Madrid breathing in their neck.

For the time being they need to focus on the double legged round against PSG, while trying to capitalize on the fact that Ibrahimovic is still suspended. He saw a red card against Chelsea and he won’t play in Paris.

At the first glance, it looks like Juventus will have the easiest mission in the first leg, as they have home pitch advantage and take on Monaco.

The Frenchmen struggled heavily in the return match after winning in London and were on the verge of losing by three goals to nil. They will employ the same defensive strategy in Turin, but it is unlikely for them to survive a 90 minutes siege for the second time.

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