Previewing the Champions League Quarterfinals


With the quarterfinal draws (shown above), each team will now fight to be one of the last four teams remaining in the Champions League. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Michael Hernandez, Assistant Sports Editor

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the first legs of the Champions League quarter-finals will take place, with the second legs the following week. The four quarterfinal matches are set: Chelsea vs Porto, Bayern Munich vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Liverpool vs Real Madrid and Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund. As a reminder, whichever team wins on aggregate will advance into the semifinals. If the aggregate is even, then it will go to the team that scored the most away goals. If that is equal, then it goes to extra time in the second match, an additional 30 minutes, followed by a penalty shootout if necessary.

The match grabbing the headlines is Bayern Munich vs PSG. This is a rematch of last year’s final which Bayern ended up winning 1-0. However, the defending champions have just been dealt a massive blow with their main striker Robert Lewandowski ruled out for a month due to an injury sustained during the international break. He will miss both legs.

The star striker has had a season to remember scoring 35 goals in 25 league matches and 42 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions. The upcoming game is a dead tie and either team has an equal chance to advance. PSG has a lethal attack with Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe. However, Bayern has a great defense alongside one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Manuel Neuer. This is the game to watch as they fight for a spot in the semifinals.

The next enticing match is Liverpool against Real Madrid, another rematch from a Champions League final back in 2018 where Real Madrid won 3-1. Liverpool has struggled to match their success over previous years as they are out of the title race in the Premier League and this is realistically the only way for them to win silverware this year. 

Liverpool’s strength right now is their attack, with forward Mohamed Salah scoring 25 goals in 40 matches across all competitions. He should enter this match with motivation because he was injured early and had to be substituted in the 2018 final. Liverpool’s defense has suffered due to the injury crisis, but they do have one of the best goalkeepers in the world with Alisson. 

Real Madrid are looking to add a 14th champions league trophy to their collection, and with defender Sergio Ramos as their captain, it should be a close match. However, I believe that Liverpool will win this tie because they want revenge for 2018. In addition, their attack can be lethal and with their forwards fit to play, they should narrowly come out ahead in this colossal quarterfinal. Alongside Bayern vs PSG, this should be one of the more exciting quarter-finals.

The third pairing is Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund. City have been unstoppable this season and could potentially win the quadruple this year, which is winning all of the competitions that they are currently in. The 4 competitions are their domestic league, both domestic cups, and the Champions League.

They face a Dortmund side that has struggled this season in the Bundesliga. However, Dortmund has superstar Erling Haaland who has been a machine for their attack, scoring 31 goals in 33 games across all competitions. However, City’s team is stacked with talent in every position and are firing on all cylinders, so I believe that City will enter the semi-finals.

The final matchup is Chelsea vs Porto. Porto shocked the world by knocking out Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the round of 16, so you should never count them out.

Chelsea have been revitalized under new coach Thomas Tuchel. Under his reign, which started this past January, he has won 10 out of 14 matches and tied the rest. In those 14 games, Chelsea has only let two goals past their defense. They have been more clinical with their attack and sturdier in their defense. I believe that Chelsea should dispatch Porto and punch their ticket to the semi-finals.

However, my predictions can be wrong because in soccer any team can perform an upset. But it should be entertaining as the teams fight to get one step closer to lifting up that prestigious trophy.