The best match up of the Champions League quarterfinals is easily Paris Saint-Germain–Chelsea, but the two favorites to meet in Lisbon were given the best draws this morning. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid should both advance into the final four of the European competition as they move one step closer to a clash of European giants. Bayern is looking to repeat as champion while Real Madrid is concerned with avenging a loss from last year’s competition. Regardless of motivation, these two teams will cruise into the semifinals.
Bayern Munich drew Manchester United and will travel to Old Trafford in the first leg on Apr. 1. David Moyes and Man U overcame a deficit against Olympiakos in the final leg of their round of 16 matchup to advance but now face a completely different team. Patrice Evra is suspended in the first leg, which means Alexander Büttner could start. Büttner has less than 10 appearances for Manchester United since coming over from Vitesse and now will have to face Arjen Robben.
As if the turmoil and standing in the Premier League were not enough, Man U now has the biggest challenge to salvage their season. After the draw their odds of winning went from 20-1 to 33-1. The midfield matchup is lopsided with Bayern’s advantage easily recognizable as they have averaged 64 percent possession in this year’s Champions League. Bayern are the defending champion and some say they are a better team than last year. Even their best effort will not save Man U.
Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund will face off in the final eight after the teams played each other four times last year. Dortmund were able to get by Madrid last year, but a lot has changed. Dortmund will be lucky to have five of their first choice 11 going into the match. Last year there were two keys to Dortmund’s victory. Their attacking players were phenomenal in the final third, but only one of those players, Marco Reus, may be available for the first leg. Łukasz Piszczek and Jakub Błaszczykowski were able to press Cristiano Ronaldo to keep Madrid at bay.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not the defender that Błaszczykowski is and will now be tasked to hold down the current Champions League leading scorer. The other injuries that Dortmund have will be too much to overcome. Even though Robert Lewandowski may return for the second leg, Dortmund will have trouble sustaining an attack and shutting down the creativity of Karim Benzema and Ángel Di María.
Bayern and Real Madrid must be happy with their next opponents in the Champions League and are the favorites to move into the final four. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid round out the quarterfinal matchups in a battle of top Spanish clubs. Maybe you should just pay attention to this match and the PSG-Chelsea match since you already know two of the semifinalists.