While two Champions League ties this week look done and dusted, the humdinger between PSG and Real Madrid is still finely balanced.
Liverpool – Porto (5-0)
The group stage phase normally separates the elite from the mediocrity. However, when Liverpool and Porto met a few weeks back for their first leg of the round of 16, it was clear that the gap in quality was huge. The Reds thrashed Porto 5-0 in their own backyard and all but secured their place in the quarter-finals.
A rampant front three of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah blitzed the Portuguese outfit with heavy metal football like only Jürgen Klopp can instill in a team. It has made the five-times European champions Liverpool serious dark horses for the Champions League this season.
Team to go through: Liverpool
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2018
Paris Saint-Germain – Real Madrid (1-3)
In a game that was widely advertised as the match when Neymar needed to deliver to repay his world record fee, we will have to do without the main protagonist. The Brazilian superstar has probably been ruled out for the season as a result of a bad challenge during PSG’s league clash with rivals Marseille last weekend and the French giants will now face an even tougher task of overcoming the first leg 3-1 deficit against defending European champions Real Madrid.
They do still have great players capable of causing an upset but the loss of Neymar might be too much to handle in this clash against the European specialists and simply an all-time classic team like Real Madrid.
Team to go through: Real Madrid
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 4, 2018
Manchester City – Basel (4-0)
It is clear that Manchester City have been a really special side this season under the reign of the fabulous Pep Guardiola. They have dominated the Premier League in empathic fashion and, so far, have done the same to their Champions League opponents. The first leg of the knockout game against Basel a few weeks ago was another masterclass from City.
A 0-4 win was taken home to the north of England and Basel should now be concerned that the aggregate score doesn’t get too embarrassing. For City, this could really become the year when they win their first Champions League which is a dream of the owners. Money might not buy you love, as The Beatles once taught us, but it can certainly buy you success.
Team to go through: Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur – Juventus (2-2)
When Juventus were 2-0 up after ten minutes, nobody would have given a dime for Tottenham’s chances of progressing to the quarter-finals. Spurs fought back, though, and got themselves on level terms after constant pressure, making a usual rock-solid force like Juve crumble. It’s not just the 2-2 result that gives Mauricio’s Pochettino hope for the return leg but it is especially the way they achieved the result that leads to good odds for the English club.
At Wembley, they also have the favour of the pitch size. Juve will have more space to defend and Spurs, therefore, have more space to exploit. Something which might be an advantage for Juventus, however, is their superior experience in the Champions League latter stages.
Team to go through: Tottenham Hotspur
— Harry Kane (@HKane) March 3, 2018