Second Leg Of The UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals
Yesterday, Manchester City sent Paris Saint-Germain home, passing through with a 1-0 score. Meanwhile, Real Madrid is also going to the semifinals behind a 3-0 score at Bernabeu and the hat trick by the Cristiano Ronaldo. The action continues today with Benfica vs Bayern Munich and Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid. Keep reading for the previews and predictions of those games.
Bayern Munchen vs Benfica
- Time: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:45 PM ET
Bet on Benfica
The big surprise is that Benfica is still alive at this point in the competition. Even after playing the first leg against the German giants at Allianz Arena, the Portuguese squad held on strong only allowing one goal.
This is a harder task than many could imagine, as Bayern has demolished other, perhaps better opponents, on their home pitch. So, credit must be given where it’s due. And, heading into this game Benfica has plenty to look forward to if they can hold Bayern scoreless in Estadio da Luz.
The caveat though, is that Benfica will have to do without Jonas and Nico Gaitán. Jonas is under suspension due to yellow card accumulation and Gaitán is on the injured list with unknown muscular problems. This might hamper Benfica’s ability to create scoring opportunities.
However, Benfica’s defensive ranks might balance out their shortcomings on offense and allow them to capitalize on counterattack situations. Considering that Bayern hasn’t been particularly strong away from home, with 5 draws and 4 losses, it’s not crazy to believe Benfica might pull with an upset.
Bet on Bayern Munich
Though the Teutons struck early in the first game, leading one to think the game would end in a blowout, the Portuguese squad closed its ranks and held on to finish the game allowing only the one goal.
Regardless, Bayern is still favored to win today, even if they remain scoreless today. And, if they do end up scoring, they’ll force Benfica to double the score being that they would have to win by a two-goal margin.
Nobody doubts Bayern’s ability, or chances, of passing through. Although they haven’t performed as many expected, they have gotten the job done. Behind a strong attack, led by Lewandowsky and Muller, the Germans are able to set up plenty scoring opportunities up front and Ribery and Costa left to set up opportunities on the sides.
Though Bayern has a shaky defense, because Benfica is missing their key attackers they might not be shaken as much.
- Medhi Benatia
- Sinan Kurt
- Philipp Lahm
- Javi Martinez
- Thiago Alcantara
- Júlio César
- Nico Gaitán
Game Predictions: Bayern scores at least on one opportunity, forcing Benfica to the two goal margin which they’ll be unable to overcome. Bayern passes.
FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
Time: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 2:45 PM ET
Bet on FC Barcelona
Though Barca has the clear advantage, they’ve been slipping at home, losing their last three games in La Liga. In their first Champions match, they also did not convince, regardless that they won, even though Atletico was down a man when Fernando Torres was sent off with a red card.
Whatever the case however, Barcelona does have the upper hand over Atletico. They’ve won seven times in a row against them in every competition they’ve played and it’s likely they’ll pass through even if they play to a draw in this game.
Again, Barcelona will rely on the deadly trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar Jr to set up plenty of scoring opportunities up front. Regardless of how Messi is performing at the moment, either of his companions can put up scores at any moment.
Bet on Atletico Madrid
Atletico was dominating the first game until Fernando Torres’ expulsion. Until that moment, Atletico had pretty much shut down Barca’s opportunities to score, setting up a defensive strategy that could have ended in a clear victory for the Rojiblancos.
Despite losing the first match, Atletico did manage to secure an away goal. Which means that if they manage a 1-0 score today, they’ll pass through to the semis. This score isn’t far-fetched at all and though a long-shot without its leading attacker, Torres, it’s perfectly possible. Antoine Griezmann and Koke are still able attackers and they could open up many scoring opportunities in Barca’s ranks. Griezmann scored over the weekend, racking up his ninth goal in his last 11 matches. Koke also put up another score in Atletico’s last match, also adding four assists in his last three matches, including one pass to Torres which set up the goal in the first leg. Koke also scored to beat Barca back in 2014 as well as another score at the Camp Nou earlier this season.
Atletico’s defensive ranks should be able to contend even with the likes of Messi, Suarez and Neymar Jr. They’ve only allowed a total of 9 goals throughout La Liga and Champions matches.
- Gerard Pique DF 2/25/2015
- Thomas Vermaelen DF 11/25/2014
- Saul Niguez MF 2/25/2015
- Guilherme Siqueira DF 2/27/2015
Game Predictions: Atletico scores once at Camp Nou and closes down the ranks on defense. Barcelona will be upset and Atletico will pass.