Champions League Quarterfinal Preview


All the matches in the tie round of the UEFA Chapmpions League are sure to be fun. (Courtesy of Twitter)

In a week’s time, the quarterfinal ties of the UEFA Champions League will take place. As a reminder, the winner of the tie is determined by the aggregate score of the two legs. If the aggregate score is tied after the second leg, extra time and, if needed, penalties are used to determine the winner. With that out of the way, here are the four quarterfinal clashes:

Benfica vs. Inter Milan, followed by Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid vs. Chelsea and AC Milan vs. Napoli.

The first tie-up is Benfica vs. Inter. Benfica made it to the quarterfinals by topping Group H and then thrashing Club Brugge 7-1 on aggregate. Benfica have had a great season so far and are top of the Primeira Liga by 10 points. As for Inter, they were runners up of Group C and bested Porto in the round of 16 tie with a 1-0 aggregate score. Inter are in a tough battle in Serie A and are fighting to stay in the top four to secure Champions League qualification for next season. Both of these teams have lifted this trophy in the past, and with such a storied background in this competition, expect this to be a tight one.

The next tie is Manchester City vs. Bayern in a blockbuster clash. Manchester City topped Group G and beat RB Leipzig 7-1 on aggregate courtesy of Erling Haaland scoring five goals in the second leg, securing their progress to the quarterfinals. As for Bayern, they topped Group C and then bested Paris Saint Germain 3-0 on aggregate to continue their undefeated record in this year’s Champions League. Bayern recently fired manager Julian Nagelsmann and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel who last coached for Chelsea earlier this year. Both of these teams have high aspirations for this season and with such elite talent on both sides, this will be a great tie to watch.

The third quarterfinal tie is a repeat from last year in the form of Real Madrid vs. Chelsea. Last year, Madrid had to go to extra time to knock the then title holders out of the competition. Both teams have had seasons below their expectations. Just yesterday, Chelsea fired their second manager this season with Graham Potter and have not hired a replacement. Chelsea is currently 11th in the Premier League and have been widely inconsistent this season. Chelsea topped Group E and then beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on aggregate. As for Madrid, they are miles behind Barcelona in La Liga and are also behind in the Copa del Rey, leaving the Champions League as potentially the only trophy left on the table. They also topped Group F and then thrashed Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate. With both sides falling behind in their respective leagues, each team will want to progress into the semifinals, making this another tie to watch.

The final tie is an all-Italian one as Milan faces off against Napoli. Milan were runners up in Group E and then beat Tottenham on a slim 1-0 aggregate scoreline.

As for Napoli, they topped Group A and then beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate. Milan, who are the defending Serie A champions, have had a rough season and are unlikely to retain the title. The honor of winning that title will most likely go to Napoli, who have had a dominant season and are 16 points clear of second place. It is a matter of when, not if they will lift the trophy at the end of the season. One thing to note is that over the past weekend, Milan did thrash Napoli 4-0 in league play. With Milan being a seven-time Champions League winner and Napoli never lifting up the trophy, this is set up to be a thrilling tie between European royalty and a team that is trying to taste European glory for the first time. The first tie of all of these legs will be next week. The Benfica and Manchester ties will take place on Tuesday, and then the Madrid and Napoli ties taking place on Wednesday. Then the second legs will take place the week after with the Madrid and Napoli ties now on Tuesday and then the Benfica and Manchester ties on Wednesday. As the season hits the home stretch, expect these ties to bring drama and to one of the biggest club competitions in the world.