Woods’ Champions League Quarterfinal Predictions
The Champions League gets back underway this week with the quarterfinal rounds and a number of high profile matchups.
With the games starting up tomorrow afternoon here are my predictions for the quarterfinal round:
Real Madrid vs Juventus
Even with their struggles this year, Real Madrid seem to be putting it all together at the moment. A win over Girona before the international break was pure Madrid. Ronaldo scoring 4, and contributions from all around the pitch showed us the type of elite caliber play Real Madrid can show.
Juventus had an incredible showing in their last Champions League match against Tottenham Hotspur. Paolo Dybala proved to the world his class again by getting on the score sheet.
This matchup will surely come down to the second leg. Both teams seem to be clicking at the moment, but for me it all comes down to depth. I think we get a closer match than last year's Champions League Final, but the result will stay the same.
Prediction: Real Madrid (4-3 Agg.)
Bayern Munich vs Sevilla
Bayern Munich have been clicking on all cylinders lately. A 6-0 demolition of Dortmund in Der Klassiker is a clear warning shot to Sevilla and others that Bayern are a major threat to win the whole thing.
Coming off a major high in defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford, Sevilla looks poised to keep their unexpected run alive. Their draw on Saturday against Barcelona, also shows us that they can compete against top-level opponents.
This match will come down to firepower. And it is clear that Sevilla's Cinderella run will come to an end. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and James Rodriguez will run rampant through Sevilla's back line. I expect Bayern to run away with this fixture in the first leg.
Prediction: Bayern Munich (6-2 Agg.)
Barcelona vs Roma
Barcelona have been rotating all year with Manchester City for bragging rights as the best team in Europe. Lionel Messi has put together another fantastic season as he look's to break the deadlock with Cristiano Ronaldo for next year's Ballon d'Or. This Barca team has nearly won La Liga as they sit 9 points clear of Atletico Madrid. This team is focused on one thing for the rest of the season: another Champions League trophy.
Roma have one of the most underrated squad's left in the Champions League. With striker Eden Dzeko up front and Brazilian stalwart Alisson Becker sitting in net, this team could be poised for an upset. Their defending will have to be the focal point in order to upset this Barcelona side. Kostas Manolas will need to be a force for Roma to advance; finding ways to limit the potent attack of Barcelona.
This matchup could be one that catch Barcelona by surprise. Roma will take chances on the counter, but ultimately, Barcelona will emerge victorious. Ousmane Dembele will shine on the wing and Luis Suarez will open everything up in front of Alisson.
Prediction: Barcelona (6-2 Agg)
Liverpool vs Manchester City
Liverpool have been the only Premier League team to defeat Manchester City this year. Their scintillating attack put four past City back in January, with four different goal scorer's scoring in a variety of different ways. Player of the Year candidate, Mohamed Salah, has been nearly unstoppable, but it's the play of the entire front three that broke down City's defense. The movements of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, along with Salah, pose a threat unlike any other in Europe. The addition of defender Virgil van Djik and emergence of keeper Loris Karius make Liverpool even tougher for City.
Manchester City return to the place where they saw their only loss occur in league play this season; Anfield. What happens in the first leg of this fixture is crucial for Manchester City. They need to score at Anfield. With Sergio Aguero likely out of the first leg with injury, Gabriel Jesus will be the main striker for City. Last time Jesus played Liverpool he scored twice to help seal City's 5-0 beat down of the Reds.
This is the closest fixture in the Champions League. These teams match up so well against each other and given that they are the only English teams remaining in the Champions League, a lot is on the line. Would not surprise me if we went to extra time and PK's in the second leg.
Prediction: Liverpool (4-4 Agg.)