The UEFA Champions League 2020-2021 quarter-finals are almost here and we have four eventful matchups to look forward to. The first leg of the championship will be held on April 6 & 7 while the second leg is scheduled for April 13 & 14.
Now, as all football freaks do, it’s time to look at the matchups and calculate the outcome. We do that so we can pinpoint who has the highest potential to grab this year’s trophy and test our statistical knowledge of the game at the same time. Bear in mind, there can never be an absolute prediction about the outcome of a football game til the final whistle blows. And, that’s the beauty of this game.
Will the fan-favourite Manchester City be able to overcome the obstacle named Haaland? Can Mbappe and Neymar exact revenge on Bayern Munich for last year? We’ll also discuss if F.C. Porto has the potential to repeat the 2004 wonder by beating Thomas Tuchel-led Chelsea and if Real Madrid and Liverpool can battle it out by bringing the same magic from the final at Kyiv. Get ready football lads to dive deeper and find out our predicted winners of these nail-biting quarter-finals.
Quarter-Final 1: Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 3
Manchester City was one of the two teams in the round of 16 who had no trouble taking out their opponent with ease. City ruled out Borussia Monchengladbach with a 4-0 aggregate and proceeded to the quarter-finals. Now, Pep Guardiola’s team will be facing off against another Bundesliga giant, Borussia Dortmund.
This can be one of the most exciting matches of the Champions League this year. Pep’s team is leading the Premier League charts with 22 wins out of 30. A magnificent team with great coordination, excellent coaching and a winning mentality – The Perfect Winning combo. Well, not so fast. Dortmund has the top scorer of the tournament this year, Haaland on their side. The attacking trio of Jadon Sancho, Julian Brandt and Haaland has the potential to break through City’s defensive lineup and counter-attacking formations.
Eyes will be on both Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland as both will try to prove their worth at the big stage. Honestly, Manchester City is a formidable team and as great as Haaland’s side is, they might just fall short in penetrating the inpenetrable barrier of Pep Guardiola.
The first Leg will be held on April 6 while the Second Leg is scheduled for April 14.
My Prediction: Manchester City wins
Quarter-Final 2: Porto vs. Chelsea
Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 4
Not the most exciting match-up of all time but definitely an interesting one that will require the attention of the football freaks. Let’s be clear! Chelsea has been great since Thomas Tuchel took over the management responsibilities from Frank Lampard. Ranked at no. 4 in Premier League, Chelsea did a marvellous job in knocking a fearsome Atletico Madrid out of the competition. Now, they will be facing the underdogs of the season, F.C. Porto who knocked the Italian giants, Juventus out.
Tuchel’s side has a well-synchronized trio of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech who have proved their immense potential and worth in the recent games. However, you just can’t ignore the fact that a 38-year-old Pepe literally single-handedly (or I should say “leggedly”) dealt with the Old Lady plus he didn’t let Cristiano Ronaldo, the freaking Goal Machine to score a single one in both the games. That’s an unbelievable feat right there. Now, the former Real Madrid star will once again test his limits against the men in blues from the back, Sergio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi will be leading the attack for F.C. Porto that can possibly create enough trouble for Tuchel’s men.
As much as we love underdog stories, it’s highly doubtful that Sérgio Conceição will be able to accomplish the feat that José Mourinho did with Porto during the 2003-04 season. Although, we can expect a good fight that is worth the stage.
The first Leg will be held on April 7 while the Second Leg is scheduled for April 13.
My Prediction: Chelsea wins
Quarter-Final 3: Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 1
It’s time to relive the last year’s epic showdown between the two mighty sides of the competition. On one hand, there is the deadliest duo of Mbappe and Neymar while on the other hand, it’s the destructive Lewandowski leading the attack and Manuel Neuer securing the goal. Both PSG and Bayern Munich have been a force to reckon with in their respective round of 16 matches. Bayern demolished Lazio while PSG, Mbappe to be precise, thrashed Barcelona viciously. The promise to bring the Champions League trophy to Camp Nou still remained unfinished, thanks to the brilliant hattrick by Kylian Mbappe in the first leg.
This time PSG would be hell-bent on avenging the narrow 1-0 loss to the Bundesliga top dog in the last season’s final. The Neymar-Mbappe duo would be aided by Di Maria and it would be a tough challenge for the Hans-Dieter Flick’s men. However, the consistency and the aggressive approach of Lewandowski and the team is also a tough pill to swallow. Overall, it would be a high tension showdown and fans will be more than hyped for this.
The prediction is a tough one as well. Both the teams have 50-50 chances at winning. It would be a great opportunity for the French side to get their hands on their first Champions League title. The first Leg will be held on April 7 while the Second Leg is scheduled for April 13.
My Prediction: 50-50 chances
Quarter-Final 4: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 2
The match that will have all eyes on it. Two historical giants of European football, Real Madrid and Liverpool will be going up against each other on another fateful night. Both the teams have cleared the first level and now will be looking forward to battling it out in the rematch of 2018 final where Los Blancos were the ones to triumph.
To be very clear, both teams are far from their top forms. Liverpool has struggled a lot this season as Jürgen Klopp and co. have failed to hold on to their premier league crown. The best hope for the Reds is still Mohammed Salah who has scored in all of the previous UCL matches. Things aren’t so great for The Whites either. The performance in La Liga has been mixed as the player injuries and inconsistent forward play has troubled Zinedine Zidane from time to time. And now, Sergio Ramos has also incurred a small injury which might be a heavy blow for Zidane’s team if he is unable to play the first leg.
Either way, it will be a tough match and a very important one for both the giants. I’d still go pick Real over Klopp’s Reds given the current circumstances. The first Leg will be held on April 6 while the Second Leg is scheduled for April 14.
My Prediction: Real Madrid
Who will be the champions this year? Who has the most potential to do so? From my point of view, Bayern Munich has the highest potential. Looks like their form and momentum isn’t stopping anytime soon. The only thing standing in their way is PSG. However, I cannot ignore the threat Manchester City poses. If they are able to knock out Haaland’s team, Guardiola might just have another shot at bagging his 3rd UEFA Champions League trophy as a manager. What will happen, only time will tell.