The Champions League quarter final second legs are upon us this week where the wheat will be separated from the chaff. Here are things to look out for in the UCL. You can bet on the Champions League here.
Another masterclass from Lionel Messi?
Manchester United face an uphill battle when they travel to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final second leg. The Red Devils carry a 1-0 deficit to Spain and need an inspired performance to progress to the last four. However, one thing that could hinder them is Lionel Messi. The Argentine is the top scorer of this season’s competition and if he puts up a performance, United could be in for a rough night. He also has two goals in five appearances against the English side. If the little magician plays how he’s been playing all season, Barca are unbeatable. United themselves will require another famous comeback to go through.
Juventus to book their place in the last four
Ajax produced a stellar performance in the first leg but could only draw 1-1 with European giants Juventus, a result which was flattering for them. However, the visitors have never won away at Juventus and you will have to go all the way back to 1974 to find when Ajax last beat Juventus. This Ajax team, which plays expansive front-foot football, will definitely produce a strong performance but most of their fledgling youth lack the experience and grit to go toe-to-toe with these battle-hardened Bianconeris. With someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, who can produce moments of brilliance at any moment, this clash is Juventus’ to lose.
Liverpool’s worrying away record in the Champions League
Before beating Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Round of 16 away from home, Liverpool had lost five successive Champions League away matches, a record that should rattle them when they visit Estádio Do Dragão on Wednesday night. However, the Reds thrashed the hosts 5-0 in last season’s Round of 16 on their own turf. Porto threatened Liverpool at Anfield and had chances of their own but weren’t clinical enough. Given Liverpool’s slender margin, they should be very concerned. Manchester United and Juventus have already erased two-goal deficits in the last round and, therefore, Liverpool still have plenty of work to do in Portugal.
Harry Kane absence puts pressure on Spurs’ forwards
Tottenham Hotspur have demonstrated this season that they can still perform without their talisman Harry Kane. However, this time, they’re facing a rampant Manchester City in the second leg. Lucas Moura made a huge statement over the weekend, scoring a superb hat-trick against Huddersfield in the Premier League, but can he fill Kane’s shoes at the Etihad? Spurs also have Son Heung-min who is ready to step up again. Moreover, they have won the last five matches without Kane. Son has scored nine goals in ten matches in Kane’s absence this season and provided the winning goal in the first leg.