The final eight in the competition are all paired up, and will put on a show for us. We briefly analyze and preview the upcoming fixtures in the Champions League.
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich
Manchester United is the heavy underdog. Any chance they had in beating Bayern Munich drastically fell with Robin Van Persie set to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained knee. Van Persie was the hero in the 2nd leg against Olympiakos. His hat trick performance pushed United into the final 8 as everyone was writing them off with a 2 goal deficit going into the 2nd leg. With United’s star striker out for both legs, Bayern Munich look like absolute favorites to make it to the semifinals once again. The Bavarians are still undefeated domestically, and are getting some key players back from injury. It is an uphill climb for David Moyes’ men. Wayne Rooney is the player that must step up and fill the void Van Persie has left. For Bayern, it will be business as usual with Ribery, Robben operating on the wings.
Paris St. Germain vs. Chelsea
Probably the most interesting matchup out of all the fixtures. This fixture is not short on talent. Chelsea comes into this match full of confidence as they confidently beat Galatasaray earlier this week. Jose Mourinho’s men will need to give it all they got to overcome French leading side PSG. With many mismatches on the field, look for both teams to expose their opponent’s weakness. The first match up we look at is Chelsea’s defense against PSG striking duo Zlatan Ibrahimović, and Edinson Cavani who added their names to the score sheet against Bayer Leverkusen. This match up can make or break the match for either team. The 2nd matchup is Eden Hazard, and Willian on the wings for Chelsea. If PSG has shown a weakness this year, it is their full back’s play. Look for Chelsea’s wingers to attack the outside of PSG defense. This is the fixture to watch.
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid
These two squads have met multiple times earlier this season, and all their meetings have ended in draws. This match up can either be full of dirty tackles, or an attacking frenzy from both squads. Atletico comes into this match up after easily overcoming a struggling AC Milan. Diego Costa leads the attack, and is the player to watch for Atletico. Barcelona finds themselves in an unfamiliar position in Spain. They sit behind Real Madrid, and their future Champions League opponents. But, Barcelona is still Barcelona. Their talent is world class in the mid field, and Barcelona always has a chance to win when Lionel Messi has his scoring boots on. Look to see how Lionel Messi and company attack the compact and well organized Atletico defense.
Real Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund
The matchup that all Real Madrid fans like to forget about last year. In the semifinals last year, Robert Lewandoski had a field day with four goals against Los Blancos. At the time, it was the 2nd most lopsided defeat in the Champions League last year. But oh have the times changed. Dortmund does not look like the team they were last year. Dortmund squeaked by Zenit, and lost the match winner last year’s fixture Robert Lewandoski to an accumulation of yellow cards. As Dortmund has slowly been down spiraling, Real Madrid is in the best form in recent years. This time Real Madrid goes into this match firing on all cylinders. Madrid is still undefeated in the year 2014, and they look to make Dortmund their next victim. Look out for Madrid’s front three, and Dortmund’s Marco Reus.