The Champions League returns today with the quarterfinals.
Our distinguished group of writers will weigh in once again with their predictions.
Let’s get right into it.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool Quarterfinal Prediction
Chops: Soooo…I was a little off on my Liverpool – Leipzig prediction. My bad! Emotions and stuff.
This is a tough match-up to predict given the up and down nature of both squads. Taking the emotion out of this, either Liverpool destroys Real Madrid or break their supporters’ hearts again.
With Ramos (and now Raphael Varane) out, I’m going to lean towards a Liverpool 3-1 aggregate win.
Tyler: Real Madrid recently won a bunch of incredibly ugly matches without Karim Benzema or Sergio Ramos, but have been looking better since Benzema’s return. Ramos came back from one injury for two games in March, but suffered another injury last week during Spain’s match against Kosovo.
In the weirdest year any of us can remember, I’ve talked myself into Liverpool continuing their Champions League run while fighting for their lives in the EPL’s top-4 race. Goals will be hard to come by for the Reds, even against a RM back line that will miss Ramos, but I’ll take Liverpool’s offensive weapons over an RM team that is way too dependent on Benzema offensively.
Liverpool take it 3-2 on aggregate.
Uttiyo: It’s a real shame that we can’t see the Salah vs Ramos battle take place here! Ramos couldn’t find a worse time to get injured. I think apart from someone like Ramos, Real Madrid are quite not the same. Even Hazard isn’t playing as expected and their attack is too reliant on Benzema.
Liverpool, on the other hand, look to be on cloud 9 after that win over Arsenal. I think they will eventually fix their bizarre record at Anfield, get a scored draw at Madrid’s stadium and seal the tie at their own turf. I’ll actually predict this to be a close one with a 2-2 draw on aggregate, but Liverpool progresses via the away goals rule.
Alex: I’ve been unconvinced by this Real Madrid side all season, and they are very fortunate to be in the Quarterfinals. Remo Freuler’s red card on 17 minutes was extremely harsh on Atalanta in the first leg of their Last 16 tie. Los Blancos only managed to convert that one-man advantage into a 1-0 win and 4 shots on target. The great Madrid sides of the past would have scored three or four goals easily.
Liverpool looks a different side with Fabinho back in central midfield and Ozan Kabak partnering Nathaniel Phillips at center back. These two are young, and Karim Benzema is a world-class striker, but they have three clean sheets under their belt, and confidence will be high.
Liverpool to progress 3-1 on aggregate.
Bayern Munich vs PSG Quarterfinal Prediction
Chops: A rematch of last season’s final!
This one got way more interesting with Robert Lewandowski’s injury. Although he may only be out the first leg.
Regardless, Bayern Munich are the best team in the world. PSG are French. Bayern advances in an exciting match-up 5-3 aggregate.
Tyler: How could I possibly offer anything that could suitably follow, “PSG are French.” Seriously, though, over two legs, I don’t quite believe in the Parisians, especially not during a year when they might not be good enough to win Ligue 1. Lewandowski’s injury hurts Bayern, but the Germans arguably have better replacements for him than PSG does for Marco Verratti and Alessandro Florenzi.
I like Bayern to prevail, but Neymar and Kylian Mbappe will get theirs — call it Bayern 4, PSG 3 on aggregate.
Uttiyo: Once they lost Lewandowski due to injury, I thought Bayern were not going to get past PSG in this one. Then I saw PSG lose to Lille at home in Ligue 1 & Bayern easily defeat RB Leipzig away from home. Even without their star striker, I still think Bayern has enough firepower to overpower this PSG side.
Expect this to be filled with goals, as the two above have predicted. Think Neymar & Mbappe will cause Bayern problems but I still haven’t seen them being ruthless enough in the ‘big games’ to actually win this one. Going for a 3-2 win for Bayern over the two legs.
Alex: The difference in mentality between these two sides can be summed up in their performances on Saturday.
With Robert Lewandowski out injured and Alphonso Davies and Jérôme Boateng suspended, Bayern Munich went to second-placed RB Leipzig, ground out a 1-0 victory, and all but sealed the Bundesliga title.
PSG welcomed Lille to the Parc des Princes in their top-of-the-table clash. A win here would have put them 3 points clear, and they dominated the game but lost 1-0. Neymar’s frustration led to him being sent off in the 90th minute, which turned into a tunnel altercation where security had to drag him away from Tiago Djaló.
Throw in Leandro Paredes suspension and Marco Verratti’s positive covid test; it’s difficult to see where creativity in central midfield will come from for PSG.
Bayern advances 5-2 on aggregate, with Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, and Leon Goretzka dominating midfield.
Porto vs Chelsea Quarterfinal Prediction
Chops: Thomas Tuchel is having an OGS-esque debut for Chelsea. Well, he was until this past weekend against West Brom.
Chelsea should win this. They have a better, deeper squad. But my spider senses are going off. There’s almost always a surprise. Roma. Ajax. Porto?
Going with the shocker here. Porto advances on away goals.
Tyler: I like where Chops is going here, but Chelsea will bounce back from that disaster over the weekend and lock down the Portuguese side. Hats off to Porto for knocking off Juve in the round of 16, but Chelsea is much better than the Italians right now. The EPL club will get everything it can handle, but ultimately pull it out.
Uttiyo: Erm, does West Brom’s (!) win over Chelsea in the Premier League change my decision on this one? Not really. But then again, I won’t completely rule out Porto after their shock win over Juventus.
I feel this will be a closely fought battle but Tuchel’s tactical prowess should help Chelsea get over the line. Expecting a 3-1 win for the Blues in this one.
Alex: Sérgio Conceição has done a fantastic job at Porto and will be awarded a top managerial job sometime in the future. He’s up against Thomas Tuchel, a far better and more experienced coach than Andrea Pirlo with an amazing squad at his disposal. Over 180 minutes Tuchel will find a way to win and take Chelsea into the semi-finals.
Chelsea takes this 2-0 on aggregate.
Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund Quarterfinal Prediction
Chops: As much as I’d love to make my standard “City bottles in quarters” joke here, I just can’t get there.
BVB is struggling in the Bundesliga. Their defense is Swiss cheese. ERLING BRAUT HAALAND alone can’t score enough to make up for that deficiency.
Rest assured, City will bottle. It’ll just be in the semis. They might score in the double-digits over two legs. City advance.
Tyler: Part of me wishes I was bold enough to pick Manchester City to flame out in another shocking meltdown, but I don’t see it happening here. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that any team that’s -670 to advance (that’s the current price on Man City) is probably worth backing.
Uttiyo: This should be a real feisty battle! Dortmund might have a poor recent defensive record but they also have a goal machine in Erling Haaland to make up for it! They will split open City’s defence and gets goals in this one.
Unfortunate thing is that I feel they will concede more than they will score in this one. City are just too confident to lose this one. They will face a tough battle but should grind out a win to get to the semis. Going for a 4-2 win for City over the two legs.
Alex: Morale is at an all-time low for Borussia Dortmund right now. Their 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday means they probably won’t qualify for the Champions League next season. Erling Haaland cuts a frustrated figure who hasn’t scored in his last 4 starts, the longest goal drought of his professional career. His father, Alf-Inge Haaland, and super-agent Mino Raiola are flying around Europe trying to get him a transfer. Finally, their biggest creative threat Jadon Sancho has been ruled out for both legs.
With nothing to lose, BVB could pull out an inspired performance, but I very much doubt it.
Manchester City will walk this tie 5-1 on aggregate.