Champions League: Battle of the titans as 8 teams fight for spots in the semis
The UEFA Champions League quarter-finals get underway in Lisbon on Wednesday, four months later than scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic and as one-off matches, all behind closed doors, rather than two-legged ties.
Atalanta vs PSG (Estadio da Luz, Wednesday 1900 GMT)
The first quarterfinal takes place at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal on Wednesday 12 August, with Serie A side Atalanta tackling French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). While La Dea will be in rhythm from completing the 2019-20 Italian top flight season earlier this month, PSG have had only two competitive fixtures (the French Cup and French League Cup finals) in recent weeks and could come into the match ‘undercooked’.
PSG manager Thomas Tuchel,has praised La Dea’s football and acknowledged that the match will be a tough one: “Atalanta are a very spectacular team, very strong in attack. They play every time in order to score a lot of goals, and they go one-on-one in all parts of the field. It’s a really spectacular way of playing and I really enjoy watching them. Our challenge is to be ready for it and to prepare in a serious way. It will be a very tight game, a very hard game, but we are there to win it.”
RB Leipzig vs Atletico (Estadio Jose Alvalade, Thursday 1900 GMT)
Thursday 13 August brings the second quarterfinal, with RB Leipzig and Atletico Madrid facing off at Estadio Jose Alvalade and looking to set up a meeting in the semi-final with the winner of Wednesday’s match.
These two teams notably eliminated last season’s finalists – Leipzig crushed Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on aggregate, while Atletico ended Liverpool’s reign as European champions with a 4-2 triumph overall – and both come into the clash full of confidence.
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich – (Estadio da Luz, Friday 1900 GMT)
The past weekend’s action, which saw the return of the world’s premier club competition, set up the second pair of quarterfinals. On the evening of Friday 14 August, Barcelona will take on Bayern Munich at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Barcelona were made to work hard for their 3-1 (4-2 on aggregate) triumph over Napoli this past weekend, with Lionel Messi once again proving the talisman to see the Spanish side advance.
Manchester City vs Lyon (Estadio Jose Alvalade, Saturday 1900 GMT)
On Saturday 15 August, Manchester City and Olympique Lyon will meet at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon. City were able to complete an impressive triumph over LaLiga champions Real Madrid, winning 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium (thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus) to take their round of 16 tie 4-2 on aggregate. The Citizens look more than capable of winning the Champions League for the first time in their history.