The UEFA Champions League is a tournament featuring thirty-two of the best club teams from around the world. The group stage and round of sixteen has past so this leaves eight teams left. The eight teams are left and will soon play to decide who moves on and will have a chance to bring home silverware for their club.
Benfica Vs. Liverpool
Benfica is a Portuguese side from Primeira Liga finishing in third after the 2020-2021 season. Benfica are always a strong side in the Portuguese league and have been historically one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Benfica are part of the “Big Three” in Portugal having never been relegated from the Primeira liga in the organization’s history since being founded in 1904. The Portuguese side has shown this prowess in European soccer before by winning the Champions League back to back in 1961-1962 seasons. Recently Benfica have been struggling to assert their dominance in major tournaments and haven’t gotten any international trophies.
Liverpool on the other hand have had Major success in recent years, with winning the champions league in the 2018-19 season. Being founded in 1982 Liverpool have been firmly grounded as a club to be reckoned with. In the last few years Liverpool has really picked up on their level of performance in the Premier League winning the league in 2019-2020
These teams will face off against each other twice, though the first leg has passed and Benfica lost 3-1 they’re not completely out of the competition. Liverpool must hold onto their lead or make their lead greater to move onto the semi-finals. I think Liverpool will come out of the next round victorious but Benfica will put up a good fight and the final aggregate score will end at 3-2 in Liverpool’s favor.
Manchester City Vs. Atlético de Madrid
Manchester City are a giant in The Premier League winning the League title three times since 2017. City are on the way to winning the fourth since 2017 this current season if they keep their lead in points against Liverpool. Due to this dominance they have solidified in England they are favorites in this match up though the game will be very close and the tiniest margins will determine who comes out victorious. Atlético de Madrid is a Spanish side from Spain’s top flight of soccer. La Liga is one of the most competitive leagues in soccer and it’s commonly debated whether English soccer or Spanish soccer has the tougher competition. Atlético de Madrid has been historically strong in all competitions but most recently have found major success by winning the league title this past 2020-21 season finishing with 86 points 2 points ahead of second place Real Madrid. In the first leg match up the score finished at 1-0 in Manchester City’s favor. Due to questionable lineup strategies from Atlético’s coach Diego Simeone ran a 5-5 with no attacking prowess, Manchester City was able to break through the defensive wall and claim a lead. The goal came with Kevin De Bruyne’s scoring to get the only goal of the game to secure a win in the first leg. I think the game will go the same way and finish 2-0 unless Simeone decides to change up his lineup and uses the viable attackers he has to create opportunities.
Villarreal Vs. Bayern Munich
Villareal is this tournament’s Cinderella and has come way further than anyone thought they would progress in this prestigious tournament. Due to being such a heavy underdog the Villareal team has played passionately and has made many upsets happen such as beating Juventus and dominating against Young Boys with a final score of 4-1. Bayern Munich is a German powerhouse in all of soccer, commonly known for their dominance against big clubs and racking up insane score lines against well established clubs. Most memorably Bayern embarrassingly destroyed Barcelona 8-2 in a Champions League quarter-final game. Bayern may have lost 1-0 against Villarreal. I think Bayern will comfortably secure a spot in the semifinals with a final score of 7-1 in the second leg.
Chelsea Vs. Real Madrid
Chelsea and Real Madrid is probably the most anticipated match up in this round of games, Both these teams have bright talents and are considered contenders to win their respective leagues almost every year. Last season in 2021 Chelsea secured a hard fought win over Manchester City to take home the Champions League trophy. Chelsea also defeated Real Madrid in the semi-finals so this makes it a match up of revenge for Madrid. The first leg of Madrid’s revenge story is going exactly to plan, coming out victorious 3-1 from a Karim Benzema hat trick. My prediction for this second leg is that Real Madrid will come out of this match up with victory and revenge in their hands comfortably finishing at 4-1 on aggregate.