Europe’s premier soccer tournament is back again, with some very interesting teams entering the last eight of the tournament. Without any fans in the stadiums as of yet, many stadiums that would ensure home victories for their teams now look like empty shells of their former selves. With each team entering this stage of the tournament looking one step closer to the final, teams will be making sure to field their strongest eleven and try to make it into the semi-finals.
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Both teams look like shadows of their former selves, with both performing poorly in their domestic leagues and not showing spectacular form so far in the tournament. In a replay of the 2018 Champions League Final, there is definitely bad blood between Liverpool and Real Madrid, particularly between Sergio Ramos and Mohamed Salah. After Sergio Ramos seemed to have intentionally injured Mohamed Salah during the game, Salah will have a point to prove during this game. Anyone who has seen Salah play against his former team Chelsea knows that Salah plays best when he has a point to prove. Over two legs, this could go any way, but I give the edge to Liverpool to win this tie.
Prediction: Liverpool wins 4–3
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
Once again, Manchester City is gifted with a seemingly easy quarter-final tie, but Dortmund could be a black horse in this tournament with the extreme giftedness of Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland. With both youngsters potentially out of the door this summer or the next, they will be looking to catch the eye of huge European teams. This may cause them to play far beyond their actual ability might suggest, as a result of the high stakes in their personal careers. Under Pep Guardiola, this current Manchester City has looked extremely strong, and I see a Manchester City win based purely on their amazing recent form both in their domestic league and in Europe.
Prediction: Manchester City wins 6–2
Bayern Munich vs. Paris St. Germain
In a replay of the 2020 Champions League final, current holders Bayern will hope to do a double against PSG and secure their place in the semi-finals. However, this will be no easy task. Under the new manager, Mauricio Pochettino, PSG has looked strong; however, domestically they have looked troublesome. With an attack consisting of Neymar, Di Maria, and Mbappe, Bayern’s high line may cause Bayern some issues with PSG’s extremely quick forwards. With Mauricio Pochettino’s experience taking a team to a Champions League final, Bayern may be in a tough position. I see PSG winning this one.
Prediction: PSG 4–4 (PSG wins on away goals)
FC Porto vs. Chelsea FC
As underdogs making it past extremely difficult opponents in the round of 16, both teams will consider themselves lucky to still be in the tournament. Porto’s amazing performance against the weak wall of Juventus put them through, and Chelsea pushed through a six man defense of Atletico to find themselves in a quarter-final. I see Chelsea winning this tie based purely on their better squad and money spent buying great talent.
Prediction: Chelsea FC wins 3–1
With each team hoping for a place in the semi-finals, this round is sure to bring some upsets, and it will be very interesting to see.