Champions League quarterfinal draw: Madrid derby, PSG rematch Barcelona
The Champions League draw took place this morning and as always it provided us with a host of mouth-watering matchups. Once you get to the quarterfinals it’s hard to go wrong any direction you turn.
The ties will see the first leg take place on Monday and Tuesday April 13 and 14, while the second legs will follow just a week later on April 20 and 21. With no English clubs left in the competition, the balls were drawn and here’s the results in the order they were drawn:
Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona
This is as tough a draw as it gets for PSG, but guess what: they’ve done it before. This season. Without Zlatan.
A rematch of the group stage - where both teams won on their home ground - this is one of the most savory matchups of the quarterfinal draw. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be suspended for the first leg as a result of his controversial sending off, but they’ll have him for the reverse fixture. They’ll be without Marco Verratti as well, suspended for yellow card accumulation.
Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid
A rematch of last year’s Champions League final, this fixture also happens to be a local derby, if you weren’t aware. They’ve already played once this calendar year, with Atletico running away with a 4-0 victory in early February. Overall, it will be the seventh and eighth time these two teams have played this season, and Atletico hasn’t lost a single one yet.
That game marks what many will consider a downturn in form for Real, and it will be interesting to see if they can turn things around by then. The heat has really been turned up on Carlo Ancelotti as well as many of the attacking players for Real Madrid in the recent going, with Gareth Bale drawing the most ire from Real Madrid fans. Can they use the month of March to reverse their recent form and make things tough on Atletico? Those matches are always a grinder.
Porto vs Bayern
Bayern Munich drew what could be claimed to be the easiest opponent left in the field, but Porto is in good form. They dispatched Basel with ease in the Round of 16, and haven’t lost in league play since late January. Still, the Germans will be heavy favorites in this matchup, and the burden will be on their opponents to prove everyone wrong. This matchup also represents a rematch of the 1987 final.
Juventus vs Monaco
This matchup won’t get the headlines, but it has all the makings of a great fight. Juventus is without Paul Pogba for a long while due to his hamstring injury, and they’ll have to take on Monaco’s ferocious defense without him. The French club shocked Arsenal in the last round, and they again get the home leg second.