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The last matches of the knockout phase of the Champions League are played, and the confrontation between the 'Vecchia Signora' and the colchonero table, will steal all the attention
The quarterfinals of the Champions League are getting closer, and there are still eight teams fighting for four of the spots in that phase: Juventus, Atletico de Madrid, Barcelona, Olympique de Lyon, Manchester City, Schalke 04, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
Leer en español: ¿Podrá la Juventus de Cristiano Ronaldo remontarle al Atlético?
Juventus vs. Atlético de Madrid
According to Mister Chip, one of the essential sports statisticians in the world, Juventus of Turin has not gone back 2-0 in their history in European competitions, because "he tried five times and he always failed." However, the 'Vecchia Signora' does not lose hope of tracing the series and qualify for the quarterfinals.
"We have the quality to play with serenity and without fear [...]. Against Atlético we will have to have patience, clarity and cold blood. If we are 0-0 in 70, it does not mean that we are eliminated. In the first leg we got two goals in five minutes, "said the coach of the Turin team, Massimiliano Allegri. Likewise, Medhi Benatia, a former player of Juventus, in statements quoted by the newspaper ABC, added that the Italian team has something or someone, that the Atlético not: Cristiano Ronaldo.
"When you see him train you to understand that he is a champion in all points of view. It works more than anyone, an authentic war machine [...]. He is an exceptional person, of incredible humility, with the desire to succeed and to be the best in the world," said the Moroccan footballer.
Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool
The first game in Anfield (England) left a cold 0-0 that puts Liverpool against the ropes. The English team must decide whether to fight for a position among the eight best teams in Europe or focus on the Premier League of England, a title that has never won since it was established in 1992.
That is why, to safeguard their hope in the league title, for several experts like Gary Neville, the 'Reds' should think about leaving aside the European dream for the elusive local recognition. "I've always believed that if Liverpool wants to win the league this season, they will need to clean up their match schedule [...]. I am going to say: [Liverpool] should be eliminated against Bayern Munich, "said the former Manchester United player.
For its part, according to Depor.com, Bayern is improving by leaps and bounds in the Bundesliga, as demonstrated by the triumph over Borussia Mönchengladbach, 5-1. With this result, the Bavarian team not only began to share the first position of the German league with Borussia Dortmund but also renewed strength to play the return leg of the Champions League, against an undecided rival.
It may interest you: Atlético de Madrid and Manchester City stole the 'show' in the Champions League
FC Barcelona vs. Olympique de Lyon
This is perhaps the most surprising key of the four, because, on paper, it was expected that the Catalan team would pass over their French counterpart. However, it was not like that, and now Barcelona must fight to qualify, although it will do so in its stadium and with its people.
Although Barcelona comes with a substantial moral after winning two straight to Real Madrid (Cup and League), there is something that worries the Catalans in the face of this important game: the health of Lionel Messi.
"Leo Messi went back to throw his hand to the right abductor during the Liguero Bernabeu Classic, and Barça does not hide some concern with his state, just entering the final phase of the season," ESPN explained.
On the contrary, players like Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembélé and Nabil Fekir, the most important chips of Lyon, are at their best and dream of giving the surprise at the Camp Nou. "We are sure we can eliminate Barça," said Fekir, after the victory of his team against Toulouse (5-1), in Ligue 1.
Manchester City vs. Schalke 04
Pep Guardiola's team suffered in Germany but finally managed to turn what was a surprise 2-1 against and turn it into a 2-3 final. Of course, the bets are inclined to the classification of Manchester City, which at home only lost a game (in the group stage against Olympique Lyon), and scored 9 goals, according to information from UEFA.
On the other hand, Schalke only managed to win an away match (against Lokomotiv) and score two goals; a pretty poor record considering the opponent he will face, although of course this is football and everything can be expected.
This is how the matches will be played:
Tuesday, March 12
Manchester City vs. Schalke 04 / Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Juventus vs. Atlético de Madrid / Juventus Stadium (Turin)
Wednesday, March 13th
Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool / Allianz Arena (Munich)
FC Barcelona vs. Olympique de Lyon / Camp Nou (Barcelona)
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
Translated from "¿Podrá la Juventus de Cristiano Ronaldo remontarle al Atlético?"