It's Business Time - The UEFA Champions League is Back!
With the unfinished business of the outstanding Round-of-16 ties now in the books, the UEFA Champions League is at the quarter-final stages – and there’s not even time to draw breath! Four games in four days will decide which quartet will progress; there’s not even time for second legs this year!
Beginning with a David v Goliath matchup of Atalanta v PSG this Wednesday – which, just like every other game, is live on Virgin Media Sport, Virgin TV 400 – we’ll see the continent’s finest lock horns with the trophy tantalisingly close. What to expect from each game? Well, read on for a taste!
ATALANTA v PSG
A classic matchup of monsters and minnows, most observers fancy PSG to progress at a canter – but things aren’t really so cut and dried. For one, Atalanta have impressed at both domestic and European level, with a talented side augmented by the tactical acumen of manager Gian Piero Gasperini. There’s also the not insignificant track record of their opponents, who’ve made early exits something of their Champion League calling card in recent years.
But with all that said, they’ve got Kylian Mbappe. And Neymar. And Edison Cavani. And, indeed, di Maria, Icardi, and a further embarrassment of riches that can only be obtained by, well, riches. If money talks, then the Parisien side have a lot more to say in this competition...
RB LEIPZIG v ATLÉTICO MADRID
The history books would suggest another lop-sided tie here, but anyone paying attention to the recent past will know otherwise. Yes, it’s the German side’s first time reaching this stage of the tournament, and they’ll face a thoroughly experienced Atlético side, but that’s only part of the story; while the Spaniards are known for their defensive toughness, they’ll encounter quite the styles clash when faced with a decidedly more positive Leipzig operation.
Timo Werner will be looking to sign off in style before his move to Chelsea, and leads Leipzig’s charge; Atlético, meanwhile, will be looking to harness the same form that dumped defending champs Liverpool out in the previous round. Don’t be shocked if extra time and even penalties are needed to separate these two!
BARCELONA v BAYERN MUNICH
A match-up worthy of any famous European evening, two of the continent’s most decorated sides will meet knowing the road stops here for one of them. Barca looked good in dispatching Napoli, but in truth the show was comprehensively stolen by the German giants, who demolished Chelsea for a 7-1 aggregate win – and found themselves promptly installed as favourites for the whole competition.
Indeed, considering their fearsome form both at home and abroad, it would take a brave punter to bet against a Bayern win – but as long as that man Messi is on the field, you can’t write the Catalan club off completely!
MANCHESTER CITY v LYON
City’s year in Europe has already been one of high drama – in the courtroom as well as on the pitch – and it could yet conclude with the greatest excitement of all; certainly, their comfortable win over Real Madrid, coupled with perhaps the competition’s biggest outsiders providing the opposition this time, will have Pep Guardiola’s men dreaming of what might be.
Inconsistency has been a problem for the Citizens, however, and Lyon demonstrated against Juve just what they can do to a side not firing on all cylinders. The sole English team remaining in the tournament will be hotly tipped, but don’t rule out a shock to cap off the quarter-finals stage!
You’ll catch every game of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League on Virgin Media Sports, along with a whole lot more – click here to find out what’s in store!