The Champions and Europa Leagues only really get started once the knockout stages commence but last weeks 1st legs in the quarters showed the creme de la creme thrive in the final eight. Below I am analysing all the 2nd legs being played this week, starting with Thursday’s Europa League games:
Man Utd v Granada CF
Granada have done well to make this stage of the competition, as a club they should look to build on this campaign and ensure they qualify more often.
Progressing to the next round – Man Utd
Roma v Ajax
This is the most intriguing game of the week, Ajax came away as losers last week after dominating proceedings. 2 of Europe’s most legendry names, whoever wins this game will fancy their chance to win the whole competition.
Progressing to the next round – Ajax
Slavia Prague v Arsenal
Injuries are mounting for Arsenal and Prague possess numerous players of class who will head hunted around Europe and have bought into their chances of winning the Europa League. If players like Saka, Smith Rowe and Aubameyang are able to play the advantage will lay with the Gooners. It would not surprise me if this game goes to extra time.
Progressing to the next round – Arsenal
Villarreal v Dinamo Zagreb
Zagreb’s showing last week was poor considering the performance produced when they bear Spurs. A home defeat without scoring is poor in European competition’s, the only saving grace will be the fact goals scored this week will be away ones but they need to out score Moreno.
Progressing to the next round – Villarreal
Tuesdays Champions League Games
Chelsea v FC Porto
Both sides come into this game off the back of wins at the weekend but all Chelsea need to do is draw this game to progress after their 2 nil away win last week. The 1st goal on Tuesday night is so important as bar the WBA debacle, Chelsea are so solid at the back. Its hard to see Porto scoring 3 goals in 90mins but if they score first on Tuesday and manage the tie like they did when they played Juve a long night including extra time could occur.
Progressing to the next round – Chelsea
PSG v Bayern Munich
Saturdays league result for Bayern was poor (1 all Union Berlin) but the defending champions can take positives from last weeks defeat to PSG, for large portions of the game they was dominant and on any other day could have scored so many more goals. They hold pace and power in abundance but without Lewandowski they lack guile which PSG do possess in their 2 best players Mbappe and Neymar. To turn this game around the Bayern defence need to keep a clean sheet which I cannot see occurring.
Progressing to the next round – PSG
Wednesdays Champions League games
Borussia Dortmund v Man City
City’s defeat on Saturday to Leeds was smash n grab at its finest, for Dortmund to advance Wednesday a 1nil win suffices but unlike Leeds Utd, Dortmund hold multiple talents who could grace the City line up. The young superstars of Dortmund have struggled with consistency in the league but in one off occasions they can threaten anyone. We all know the home side will score especially as Haaland will look to reverse his barren spell in front of goal, big players perform on the big nights. Controlling the ball works for City but by lacking a killer touch in front of goal could cost them a awesome chance to win the Champions League.
Progressing to the next round – Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool v Real Madrid
I have no doubt Liverpool will produce a heroic effort on Wed night but their defence will cost them in the long run. Madrid are shifting through the end of season gears of quality and despite their defence being weak themselves they possess the ammunition going forward to match any number of goals they may concede. For any neutral fan on Wed if you do not want to watch the young bucks of Dortmund then seeing the Rolls Royce Toni Kroos and the Croatian Wizard Luca Modric control the mid park is a must see.
Progressing to the next round – Real Madrid
BT Sports coverage is top class, this is going to be a cracking week of football…..enjoy!