The UEFA Champions League is about to enter the Quarterfinals phase. So far, the tournament has provided a lot of great matches and numerous football betting opportunities. A total of 8 teams are left in the race and 3 of them are from England. Last season, 2 Premier League squads, Chelsea and Manchester City, played in the Final for the trophy. This time, the same two teams as well as Liverpool are likely to win again. But can they do it, given the formidable opponents they will have to face?
Chelsea is the winner of the previous edition and has one of the best managers in the world. However, the departure of Roman Abramovich has caused a lot of worries at the club. Both the staff and the players are currently wondering what will happen next, and that could have a big impact on their performance in the upcoming match against Real Madrid.
In the Group Stage, the Spanish club won Group D with 5 wins and 1 loss. And in the Round of 16, it defeated the mighty PSG after losing in Paris (0 – 1) and being led at home (0 – 1). Benzema wrote history by scoring 3 goals in one night and helping Real advance to the Quarterfinals.
By contrast, Chelsea had a relatively easy battle against LOSC, winning 2 – 0 at home and 1 – 2 away.
Under normal circumstances, Chelsea would be the clear favorite here. The team’s manager is hungry for another trophy and has the right roster to win it. But under the present circumstances, the fight could easily swing in Real’s favor. The first leg will be played at Chelsea on April 6th and ideally, the English team should win it without conceding any goals to give itself a high chance of qualifying for the Semifinals.
One thing that seems to suggest a good overall result for Chelsea is its opponent’s recent result against archrival FC Barcelona. Real got demolished in front of its own fans, which says a lot about its current form and possibly morale.
Manchester City finished 2nd at the previous edition of UEFA Champions League and has qualified for the Quarterfinals by winning Group A (4 W – 0 D – 2 L) and then smashing Sporting in the Round of 16 (0 – 5 at Sporting and 0 – 0 at home). Pep Guardiola would love to play another Final this season, given the fact that he is likely to leave the club in a few years.
Manchester City’s opponent in the Quarterfinals will be Atletico Madrid. The Spanish club is probably very familiar to Guardiola, who used to play for and manage Spanish clubs like FC Barcelona. Atletico may not seem to be a tough opponent, but in fact it is. Given the strength of the team they previously eliminated in this competition, Manchester United, it’s clear that Atletico knows how to defeat Premier League giants.
Atletico is currently ranked 4th with 54 points and has won its last 5 matches. Arguably, the team will get to compete in the UEFA Champions League next year as well, but will not be able to challenge Real Madrid for the title. Meanwhile, Manchester City is doing reasonably well in the Premier League, where it is ranked 1st with 70 points.
Liverpool has done spectacularly well this season in the UEFA Champions League, finishing its group with 6 consecutive wins and defeating Inter to qualify for the Quarterfinals. The battle was not easy, however. Liverpool won the first leg at Inter (0 – 2) but then lost at home (0 – 1) and nearly missed the boat.
The English squad has 4 strengths at the moment. The first is its current form, which is amazing. Liverpool won its last 5 matches in the Premier League and is now just 1 point behind Manchester City.
The second strength is its manager. Jurgen Klopp is one of the best in the world at what he does and his results over the years have been amazing.
The third strength is the club’s superstar players. When you have someone like Mo Salah, winning could easily come from a single magical play.
The fourth strength is the crowd. Liverpool has some of the best fans in the world, and that counts a lot when you’re competing at home.
Liverpool’s next opponent will be Benfica, which means the English club is almost guaranteed to play in the Semifinals this year.
Given the strengths and Quarterfinal opponents of the 3 English clubs that are left in the race, it’s almost guaranteed that at least one of them will reach the Final. What happens there is anyone’s guess. But for sure, England is well represented in the UEFA Champions League this season.
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