Sports itself has become a very different post COVID-19 lockdown. The competitiveness of every team is very high but watching a Champions League match without fans and without those huge banners and tifos in the stands are not something we are used to.
Amidst everything, UEFA Champions League is back and we are already in the Quarter Final stage.
Paris Saint Germain faces Atalanta for a place in Semi-Final today as Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Manchester City and Lyon awaits their turn.
Quater Final 1 – Paris Saint Germain vs Atalanta
Atalanta is last season’s Ajax. Well, that’s what the football pundits argue. They are the biggest surprise of this season and their game is very attractive. After a difficult start in the group stage, Atalanta has improved their gameplay and changed their tactics. This resulted in a massive win against Valencia in the round of 16 stage. They beat Valencia 8-4 over two legs.
They continued this performance in Seria A and finished 3rd in the league scoring 98 goals. This being their first season in Champions League, no doubt they’ll be hyped for the match.
On the other hand, PSG are Ligue 1 champions. It is because of COVID 19 that their league was canceled and the league leaders PSG were awarded the trophy. Interestingly, PSG have won Ligue 1 for 7 out of last 8 times, but when it comes to Champions League, they never delivered. The club has reached the quarter-final stages for 8 consecutive seasons but failed to succeed in any of those years.
Paris signed Neymar Jr. for 222 million with the hope of winning the Champions League.
Unfortunately, he was injured when PSG were knocked out in the last two seasons. With him playing
this time, it’ll be very tough for Atalanta to beat PSG.
Gasperini and Thomas Tuchel will have an extreme tactical battle tonight. However, it’ll be very tough for Atalanta to hold PSG back. With Ilicic out of action, Atalanta might go for a defensive approach and that can be a boomerang to them.
It’s to be noted that we will only have one leg from now on. Thus, if a team makes a mistake, then there’s no coming back. PSG might have an edge in the match as per our tonight’s match prediction, but since it will be played in no man’s land, Atalanta will fight back boldly but PSG’s defence will have its answers.
Tonight’s Prediction: PSG – 3 ; Atalanta – 1
Quarter Final 2 – RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid
On Wednesday we will see a great battle between the 3rd best team of Germany Vs 3rd best team of Spain.
Like Atalanta, RB Leipzig can be the dark horse of this year. They played some amazing football throughout the season but unfortunately, their main man Timo Werner left the club and joined Chelsea. He scored 34 goals all season and without him, they will have a very tough time against Atletico in the quarter-final.
Atletico is a very tough team to beat in the Champions League. However, on a funnier note, Atletico Madrid never lost a Champions League knockout match against any team other than teams in which Cristiano Ronaldo is playing. Since 2014, Atletico Madrid only lost to Real Madrid and Juventus in the
knockout stage. With Cristiano already out this season, can Atletico win this time? Fans are very optimistic.
Prediction: RB Leipzig – 0 ; Atletico Madrid – 2
Quarter Final 3 – Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
Bayern Munich are favorites to win the title this time but against Barcelona, it’s going to be extremely difficult to seal a victory.
Bayern Munich started the season in a plodding fashion. They were in the 7th place in the league and then things started to change. Hans Flick, their coach changed the team formation and gameplay and suddenly, Bayern was out of everyone’s reach.
They hammered Chelsea 7-1 in the round of 16 and their main man, Robert Lewandowski is in the best form of his life. Thiago, Kimmich, Muller and everyone else is playing some amazing football and it’ll be very tough for Barcelona to defend against such attacking force.
The Catalan side is going through a tough phase. Their coach was sacked in the middle of the season
and reports claim that their new coach, Quique Setien has lost control in the dressing room.
Therefore, Barcelona’s chances completely depends on Lionel Messi. Only he can change Barca’s fortune and can help win them the Champions League. Their recent success against Napoli might boost them for the quarter-final victory. However, facing Bayern in the next round, things will be challenging for Barcelona.
Prediction: Barcelona – 0 ; Bayern Munich – 3
Quarter Final 4 – Manchester City vs Olympique Lyonnais
This is probably the most predictable match in the quarter final. Manchester City has the potential to
bash Olympique lyon and throw them out of the competition.
Pep Guardiola has won everything with Manchester City. However, when it comes to Champions League, City always fails to deliver. Last season when they look favorites to win the trophy, they lost
against Tottenham Hotspur.
This time, City looks different. Pep looks confident. Manchester City have not won a single cup this season and Pep wants to change that. City will keep up their attacking game and and will make it very difficult for Lyon to counter.
Lyon defeated Juventus in the round of 16. It wasn’t easy but they were focused. Memphis Depay’s inclusion in the squad has given them a lot of confidence. They might think of a defensive approach but Man City will anyway make them defensive.
Prediction: Manchester City – 4 Olympique Lyon – 0
So now, the semi-finals look very interesting as PSG is expected to play against Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich is expected to play against Manchester City.
Semi Final 1: PSG vs Atletico Madrid
This is going to be an exciting match. Probably it’ll be coined as PSG’s attack versus Atletico Madrid’s
defense but little do people know that Atletico Madrid’s offense has improved a lot this season. They already have beaten Liverpool in the round of 16 by playing attacking football. On the other hand,
PSG have a decent defence too. So, we are going to see a very tactical fight between Diego Simeone and Thomas Tuchel. However, with Neymar, Mbappe, Icardi and Di Maria up front, it will be tough for Atletico Madrid to stop them.
Prediction: PSG – 2 ; Atletico Madrid – 1
Semi final 2 – Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
When Bayern Munich face Manchester City in the Semi Finals, it’ll be a very emotional match for Pep
Guardiola as he left Bayern Munich after failing to win the Champions League for three consecutive seasons and am afraid he might fail again this year.
No doubt that Manchester City is a very good team. Kevin De Bruyne is a world-class player. Pep Guardiola arguably the best coach in the world, still it will be very tough for city to win against this Bayern Munich.
Hans Flick has changed the entire complexion of the team. They are dominating every team that their playing against and with their main man of front, Bayern might get the win here.
Prediction: Bayern Munich – 3 ; Manchester City – 2
Final – Paris Saint Germain Vs Bayern Munich
This is a kind of final that football fans can stay awake the whole night to watch. These two teams deserve to play the Champions League final.
In one hand, Neymar will give everything to win that one thing that PSG wanted and on the other hand, Robert Lewandowski wants to win a Champions League. The Bayern striker is the third highest goal scorer in the Champions League history, but never ever he won the Champions League title.
Kylian Mbappe won a world title with France but failed to win a Champions League. Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard, Icardi, Serge Gnabry, so many good players without a single Champions League in their cabinet. Needless to say, both teams will give their everything to win the trophy. Interestingly, whichever team wins, will end up with the treble.
Key players to watch this season –
3. Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian International is one of the top 3 best footballers worldwide. Not
only he scores but creates dozens of chances for the team. With him there in the corner, Manchester City always have a chance to win any match.
2. Neymar Jr. – PSG signed Neymar for a 222 million just to win for them the Champions League. The Brazilian international has failed to complete his task in last years and thus will be very hungry for goals this time. Since Mbappe might start of the bench following his injury, Neymar has a lot of pressure on this shoulder.
However, we all know he loves to perform in pressure. The famous 6-1 win for Barcelona is probably the best example of it. Neymar has already scored 19 times this season and has 8 assists. With this kind of form, Neymar has the potential to win the UEFA player of the year trophy.
1. Robert Lewandowski – Robert Lewandowski is in the best form of his life. Scoring 33 goals this
season, the Polish striker finished 3rd in European Golden shoe race with a better goal per minute
ratio than the winner, Immobile. Like Neymar, Robert Lewandowski also has a chance to win the UEFA player of the year if he continues his form in the coming matches.
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