Manchester City are into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second time in their history. The Blues have had quite the comfortable ride in the Champions League so far, dropping just three points in the group stage having already guaranteed qualification and first place in their group.
City’s luck didn’t stop there. They got the easiest draw in the Round of 16 in FC Basel, and after a 4-0 win away from home in the first leg the Blues managed to rest their main players in the second leg, and the 2-1 loss wasn’t a problem at all.
Now that City are in the Last Eight, let’s take a look at what they are up against, who they are facing, and what to look for on Friday’s draw.
When: The draw for the quarterfinals will be made on Friday at 11am GMT (UK), 12pm WAT (Nigeria), 7am EST, 4am PST (USA).
Restrictions: There are no restrictions at this stage, meaning that teams from the same country and/or group can face each other.
Who is left?: Manchester City, Liverpool, Sevilla, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and AS Roma.
Teams to avoid: Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Barcelona are probably the favorites to win it all at this point and Bayern are not too far behind them. Both are world class teams with a ton of experience in this tournament. City can beat these teams, but they can easily beat City too. If we get drawn against one of them, it will be 50/50 chances on advancing at best.
Favorable draws: Roma and Sevilla. Because of some surprising results in the Round of 16, this stage still gives us a few good options to draw. With United bombing out, whoever gets Sevilla will undoubtedly be licking their chops. Despite impressive win against Untied, Sevilla are having just an okay season in La Liga, and they actually have a negative goal differential.
Sevilla are unlikely to finish in the Top 4 in their league this year, which will see miss out on the Champions League next year. Given the strength of opponents left, if a team like City drew Sevilla, you would love your chances of going through to the semi-finals. Roma are a good side with some talented players, and a very familiar Edin Dzeko has been carrying them, but they’re also a pretty good opponent instead of, say, Barça and Bayern.
Wild Card teams: Real Madrid and Liverpool. Madrid are a team you don’t ever want to face in the final stages of this tournament. The back-to-back winners are still a world class team with so much experience. They’ve had an underwhelming season so far, but they will fear no one in this tournament and can easily beat any team over two legs. Liverpol have shown time and time again that they are a very talented attacking team that just cannot defend in big matches, but they’re still very dangerous. Remember the 4-3 at Anfield? Yup.
Patrick’s Predictions: Man City vs Liverpool. City will draw the only English team left in what will be a mouth watering fixture of two Premier League juggernauts. There will be so many goals in this tie that fans of every team will want to watch.
Here are my predictions for the four quarter-final match-ups:
Man City vs Liverpool
Barcelona vs Sevilla
Real Madrid vs Juventus
Bayern Munich vs Roma
What do you think, Blues? What’s your prediction? Leave your comments below.