In considerable contrast to last season’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw, the heavyweights were almost completely separated, with only Juventus and Real Madrid being drawn together. Bayern and Barcelona both have favourable chances to restore themselves to semifinal positions in this season’s competition, and Liverpool and Manchester City make complete the quartet as they represent the first all English quarterfinal since 2010/11’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester United. In this UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals Preview, we examines an each of the quarterfinal matches, and predict who will be favoured to progress to the quarterfinals.

UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals Predictions

Juventus vs Real Madrid Preview and Prediction

The glamour tie of the quarterfinal sees a repeat of 2016/17’s final, though intriguingly, Juventus have a good record in two legged affairs against the Spanish heavyweights, winning in 2014/15 (semifinals), 2004/05 (round of 16), 2002/03 (semifinals) and 1995/96 (quarterfinals). Real Madrid’s last knockout round win over Juventus came back in 1986/87; however, Los Merengues have had the better of the Bianconeri in both finals since (1997/98, 2016/17). This record applies to Juventus against Barcelona too, having beaten the Catalans in the 2016/17 and 2002/03 quarterfinals. Oddly enough, the last Spanish side to beat Juventus in the knockout round prior to a final was overachieving Deportivo La Coruna back in 2003/04’s round of 16. Real Madrid’s last defeat to Juventus is significant; that 2014/15 semifinal defeat is the last time Los Merengues were eliminated from Champions League competition.

Key Facts:

  • The last clean sheet between these sides came in 2008/09’s Group Stage match in Madrid, where Del Piero scored a brace with no reply from the home side. Since that game, the teams have shared 17 goals in 5 matches.
  • The home side has scored first in all of the last 4 knockout round matches, all in the first halves of those matches.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent run of form (18 goals in his last 9 matches) could not be better timed, though his record against Juventus is hardly a problem, having scored in all 5 of his appearances against them, with 7 goals in total.
  • As of the time of writing, Real Madrid’s form has picked up considerably after an indifferent start – Los Merengues have won 10 of the last 12 in all competitions.
  • Juventus haven’t lost a European tie at home since a 2-0 defeat to Bayern in 2012/13; the unbeaten run currently stretches to 32 matches.
  • As of the time of writing, Juventus’ last defeat came away to Sampdoria in November; since then, the Bianconeri have won 20 of their last 24 in all competitions.
  • Crucially, Juventus will be without centre back Medhi Benatia and playmaker Miralem Pjanic for the 1st leg due to suspension.

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Scheduling: Both sides will have to manage balancing acts in scheduling, to an extent. Juventus host old rivals AC Milan ahead of the 1st leg in Turin, while Real Madrid host 2nd placed local rivals Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2nd leg in Madrid.

Prediction: Another absorbing tactical contest awaits. History suggests we should expect goals in both legs from both sides. Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus may well apply a tentative approach in the first leg without Benatia and Pjanic; and while their midfield depth is hardly lacking, Real Madrid’s midfield may find this a perfect tonic to expose the Bianconeri in the first leg, supported by their excellent fullbacks (Marcelo, in particular). Los Merengues have recovered much of their colour of late, and while La Liga still seems a bridge too far, their dominance in this competition is simply too bountiful to ignore. Juventus’ motivations for revenge will be sky high, but few will be surprised to see the Spanish giants prevail.

Sevilla vs Bayern Munich Preview and Prediction

Bayern may have spent the last 4 Champions League campaigns being eliminated by Spanish opposition, but their hopes for progression will doubtless be improved, given this season’s opponents. Sevilla’s last (and until now, only) quarterfinal in Europe’s premier football competition came way back in 1957/58, when a legendary Real Madrid tore Los Hispalenses apart by 10 goals to 2 on aggregate.

Key Facts:

  • Bayern have lost their last 5 away matches to Spanish opposition; as an intriguing contrast, Sevilla have won 7 and drawn 4 of their last 11 home matches against Bundesliga opposition.
  • New Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella has fared poorly (16 points from 12 matches) compared to previous manager Eduardo Berizzo’s haul of 29 points from 17.
  • Bayern’s recent defeat to RB Leipzig was their first in 19 matches in all competitions. The Bundesliga leaders have been in superb form, winning 17 of those 19, and 26 of the 29 matches Jupp Heynckes has presided over since returning again to the club in October.
  • Sevilla have scored first in 4 of their 8 Champions League matches, with the same split between home and away matches. Bayern have scored first in 7 of their 8 Champions League matches, and in all 4 of their home matches.
  • Key Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega is unavailable for the 1st leg due to suspension.

Scheduling: Sevilla’s run into this quarterfinal starts with back to back home games against giants Barcelona ahead of the 1st leg with Bayern. The 2nd leg is sandwiched in-between key games away to Celta and at home to Villarreal which will be critical to keep up pace for Europa League qualification. Bayern have to navigate rivals Dortmund ahead of the 1st leg, but their squad depth and considerable points lead in Germany make this a far more manageable concern for Heynckes and his team.

Prediction: Sevilla’s conquering of Manchester United in the round of 16 was impressive, but it spoke far more volumes of the deficiency in Mourinho and his Red Devils rather than Sevilla’s tactical opportunism. Form is in short supply, and their schedule will likely place slightly more importance on La Liga matches around the European encounter with Bayern. As such, the Bundesliga champions should progress, as long as their winless streak in Spain ends in the first leg.

Betting Odds

Team Odds   Team Odds Venue
Sevilla (4/1) v Bayern München (6/10) Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Juventus (22/10) v Real Madrid (27/20) Allianz Stadium
Barcelona (1/4) v Roma (11/1) Camp Nou
Liverpool (37/20) v Manchester City (14/10) Anfield

Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

View the latest Champions League Odds

Liverpool vs Manchester City Preview and Prediction

The first all-English knockout affair since Manchester United beat Chelsea en route to the 2010/11 final in London isn’t as predictable as it may appear on the surface. Liverpool has the history in the competition, but Manchester City have far more recent European pedigree. This will be Liverpool’s first Champions League quarterfinal appearance since their 2008/09 defeat to Chelsea. Man City will be hoping to replicate another semifinal appearance as they managed in 2015/16 when they beat Paris St. Germain to meet eventual champions Real Madrid in the final four. Liverpool’s European record against sides from their own league has been favourable, except for the last 2 occasions in 2007/08’s semifinals and 2008/09’s quarterfinals, where they fell to Chelsea.

Key Facts:

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 14 European matches at Anfield, winning 9.
  • Man City have lost 5 of their last 8 matches against Liverpool, including their sole Premier League defeat this season.
  • Jurgen Klopp has won 3 of his last 5 encounters against Pep Guardiola across all teams and competitions, and 6 of their 12 overall matches against each other.
  • Liverpool have 6 of their last 9 matches in all competitions, including 6 clean sheets. Man City have won 4 of their last 6 matches in all competitions, one defeat being a heavily rotated side at home to Basel in the 2nd leg of their round of 16 tie, and the other a shock 1-0 defeat away to Wigan in the FA Cup.
  • Liverpool have scored first in 5 of their 8 Champions League matches, but only twice at Anfield. Only Napoli’s opener in Italy denied Man City a perfect record of scoring first in all 8 of their respective matches.
  • In the last 6 matches against each other, Liverpool have scored first on 4 occasions.

Scheduling: Both sides have the unusual situation of a derby sandwich; Liverpool have the important matter of the Merseyside derby at Everton in-between the two legs, but that will likely impact on mental and physical fatigue rather than travel concerns. The same can be said of Man City hosting Man United on the same date. Guardiola’s team travel to Spurs after the 2nd leg at the Etihad, which may affect certain squad choices.

Prediction: The ideal treble has already been denied to Man City, but that won’t take any shine off a record breaking points haul to win the title. Given their lead, the importance of the Champions League becomes especially paramount, and while Liverpool’s attack was spectacular in the recent 4-3 win, Man City did enough in the game to warrant some hopes that they could overpower the Reds with their own attacking brilliance. Liverpool’s squad is shorter on quality and depth, so as long as Man City play to the expectations on paper, a thrilling quarterfinal win for them, with goals for both sides, lies ahead.

Betting Odds

Team Odds   Team Odds Venue
Sevilla (4/1) v Bayern München (6/10) Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Juventus (22/10) v Real Madrid (27/20) Allianz Stadium
Barcelona (1/4) v Roma (11/1) Camp Nou
Liverpool (37/20) v Manchester City (14/10) Anfield

Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

View the latest Champions League Odds

Barcelona vs Roma Preview and Prediction

Much like the Sevilla-Bayern match-up, the expectation is high that La Liga’s Barcelona will progress against Italian side Roma. The last encounter between the two was a star-studded 6-1 win for the Spaniards in 2015/16’s Group Stage. Barcelona’s heavy favour does need some balance – 3 of the last 4 Champions League campaigns have seen Messi and co exit at this very stage. As for the Giallorossi, they make their first quarterfinal appearance since 2007/08’s exit at the same stage to Manchester United.

Key Facts:

  • Barcelona haven’t lost to an Italian side in the Nou Camp in their last 12 European home matches, and have an unbeaten home run extending to 25 matches in all European matches, winning 23.
  • Lionel Messi’s current record stands at 12 goals in 19 matches vs Italian opposition, including a brace against Roma in the afore-mentioned 6-1 win.
  • The Argentine forward is also on a hot-streak of late, having scored 8 goals in his last 6 matches in all competitions.
  • Roma’s last Champions League win against Spanish opposition came in 2007/08, when they knocked out Real Madrid over 2 legs in the round of 16, winning both home and away legs.
  • At the time of writing, Roma have won 4 in a row in all competitions, kicked off by a massive win away to Serie A title challengers Napoli.
  • Barcelona have scored first in 5 of their 8 Champions League matches, with a perfect 4 in 4 at home. Roma have managed to score the opener in 4 of their 8 matches, 3 of those coming in their 4 home matches.

Barcelona Players

Scheduling: Roma coach Eusebio Di Franceso’s schedule is reasonable around the tie, with matches against midtable Bologna and Fiorentina ahead of the 1st and 2nd leg respectively, but a huge derby clash away to Lazio awaits after the 2nd leg. Barcelona coach Ernest Valverde has a slightly tricker itinerary, with Europa League challengers Sevilla up first before the 1st leg, midtable Leganes ahead of the 2nd leg, and the visit of 4th placed Valencia after the 2nd leg.

Prediction: Roma’s recovery in recent form has been well timed given how their 2018 started, but even with some recent improvements, it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to manage the Catalan giants over two legs. Even with some mixed concerns for injuries in the Barcelona squad, expect a generous helping of goals to steer Messi and his side into their first semifinal since 2014/15.

Betting Odds

Team Odds   Team Odds Venue
Sevilla (4/1) v Bayern München (6/10) Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Juventus (22/10) v Real Madrid (27/20) Allianz Stadium
Barcelona (1/4) v Roma (11/1) Camp Nou
Liverpool (37/20) v Manchester City (14/10) Anfield

Please note betting odds quoted are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

View the latest Champions League Odds

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