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Four Storylines for the Champions League Quarterfinals

20 marca, 2015

by Michael Skok

Three Spanish, Two French, One each from Germany, Italy, and Portugal; the final eight of the Champions League found out their latest opponents as the Road to Berlin comes to a close. Two matchups, PSG vs. Barcelona, and Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid are the most familiar but the most competitive of the draws, while Juventus and Bayern Munich were matched up with Monaco and Porto, respectively. These will be the headlines to bear in mind heading into the final eight of the competition.

Can PSG take it One Step Further?
PSG were given arguably the most difficult opponent for the final eight of the competition. They of course, have already played Barcelona at this stage two seasons ago, having been knocked out by Spanish giants. The French capital side also played Barcelona in the group stages, beating them 3-2 in France while losing 3-1 in Spain. This is a matchup where we can see Barcelona as slight favorites, although PSG have proven that they can go toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite after having impressive performances against Chelsea in the Round of sixteen. They will be without their talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for the first leg; and this will be a difficult test for whether or not this generation of PSG players can overturn arguably Europe’s best side on form.

Can Real Madrid end their hoodoo against their local rivals?
The last time these two sides have faced in the Champions League was in the final of last season’s competitive, where Real overturned Atletico Madrid 4-1. However, since then, six games were played between the two sides. Atletico won four of them, while the remaining two ended in draws. Los Blancos were already denied opportunity to win the all illusive treble, after having been dumped out of the Copa Del Rey by their Spanish rivals. Carlo Ancelotti and his squad need to reinvent themselves if they are to have any hope in defending their title against a very resilient outfit.

Is it Juventus’ time?
The Italian champions will surely be relieved after the draw, being matched up with arguably the weakest side left in the competition, As Monaco. As Monaco may have surprised Arsenal in the last sixteen, but the Italian outfit will surely learn from Arsenal’s misgivings and see this as an opportunity to secure a semifinal position in Europe’s competition. From then on, they are only 180 minutes away from playing in the final in Berlin. If the side from Turin play like the side that beat Dortmund in the Round of 16, then the semifinals beckon.

Bayern are Favorites to Win it All
Of course, the last draw of the Champions League saw the Bavarian giants match up against the Portuguese club Porto. This will be a huge opportunity for the remaining German side to march their ways to the semifinals, without having to deal with the stronger sides left in the competition. Of course, Porto have a quality outfit, but if Bayern Munich play like the machine that they have been up to this point, they might just have the momentum that will carry them to the semis and beyond. While Barcelona and Real Madrid will have much tighter matches both in the Champions League and La Liga, Bayern have the opportunity to put themselves in pole position to repeat the illustrious treble the 2012-2013 season.

michael skok sport editor poland.usMichael Skok
Football Editor for
Polish-American Portal www.Poland.us
More on: www.mikesgoal.com