Here’s a look at the remaining eight teams in the Champions League.
The Champions League now enters the quarterfinal stage with a one-and-done format after the tournament was delayed this spring because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The quarterfinals kick off this Wednesday with Atalanta taking on Paris Saint-Germain. The remainder of the Champions League will be played in Portugal to limit travel. The tournament will be played over the next two weeks and conclude with the final, scheduled for Aug. 23 in Lisbon.
Here’s a look at the remaining eight teams and how they rank entering the quarterfinals.
The German club enter the quarterfinals not only as heavy favorites to advance, but also win the whole thing. Bayern feature Robert Lewandowski, the most-talented striker in the world at the moment. The only thing standing between them and the semifinals are Spanish powerhouse Barcelona. The meeting between these two giants this Friday will be one for the ages. It is a game worthy of a final.
With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both in top form, Barcelona are once again among the heavy favorites to contend for the trophy. Barca came out fast and confident against Napoli in the Round of 16, but that doesn’t mean a stronger defense, say like that of Bayern, won’t stifle Messi and Co. They will give Bayern a tough game at a stage of the competition where anything can happen.
After dismantling Real Madrid in the Round of 16, the English club are one of the favorites to win it all. The team coached by Pep Guardiola is a perennial favorite in this competition, but manages to fall short each year. While this appears to be the year Man City can win it all, the team needs to remain healthy over the next few weeks (particularly midfielder Raheem Sterling and striker Gabriel Jesus) if they hope to reach the final.
It would be a mistake to underestimate Atletico. Coach Diego Simeone has a successful track record with Atleti, leading them to the Champions League final twice (in 2014 and ’16). Atleti also hasn’t lost a match since February, meaning that they are the odds-on favorites in their quarterfinal contest against RB Leipzig. Despite losing stars such as Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez, Atletico Madrid has seen great production from strikers Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa.
Think Cinderella team and Atalanta quickly comes to mind. The overachieving Italian club completed another strong domestic season and is now poised for a deep run in the Champions League. It should be noted that this is Atalanta’s first-ever appearance in the continent’s premier competition, meaning anything can happen. This is a total team effort, with seven players scoring 10 or more goals this season. Watch it in particular for strikers Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel.
Like Manchester City, PSG is a team that has spent a lot to try and win the Champions League, but some up empty the past few years. This time, they face Atalanta in what could very well be a banana skin game for the perennial French champions. The Ligue 1 winners have an impressive frontline of Neymar-Mauro Icardi-Angel DiMaria, but this is a side that could be on the losing end once again given that Kylian Mbappe remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
The other French club in this competition is Lyon, a team fresh off of eliminating Juventus. Next up for them is a clash on Saturday against Manchester City. Is another upset in the works? It’s possible, but Lyon will need to muster all its talent and energy to pull this one off.
The Germans are the weakest team in this group of quarterfinalists. The departure of striker Timo Werner to not finish out the extended season means RB Leipzig will have to face Atletico Madrid on Thursday minus one of Europe’s best attacking players.
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