So, after the draw today in Nyon, we know who will play who, and luck was kind to the main favorites. Let's go match by match.
Real Madrid - Wolfsburg
Real Madrid couldn’t have been handed a better rival to get out of its crisis. If the merengues had to face Barcelona, Bayern, PSG or even Atletico, the pressure would have been immense. The Germans, albeit not being a bad team, are far from representing a serious threat to Cristiano Ronaldo and company. And well, if they can’t defeat the eighth place in the Bundesliga, it will be time to make a clean sweep in the locker room and front office.
Possibilities to advance: Real Madrid 80-20 Wolfsburg
After a big scare in their match against Juventus, Bayern have an easier opponent in the quarterfinals. Benfica are a strong team, with talent in midfield and two strikers passing through a fantastic moment, but the gap between the two squads is simply too large. With Coman and Douglas Costa in great shape, and the proven quality of Lewandowski, Muller and Ribery, Pep Guardiola can breathe easy, at least one more round.
Possibilities to advance: Bayern 70-30 Benfica
It will be one of the most tactically interesting quarterfinal matchups. It will feature the first and second place in the Spanish league, with very contrasting styles. Atletico and its defensive organization is usually very complicated for anyone but, this time, I think that Barcelona is just too strong. In fact, it would have been too strong for any of the remaining teams in the competition. It will not be easy, but I don’t see how Simeone and his resilient players can stop the Catalans in what figures to be an irresistible march towards the title.
Possibilities to advance: Barcelona 65-35 Atletico
Paris Saint-Germain-Manchester City
If we only analyzed the quality of both squads, there wouldn’t to be much difference between them. However, in my opinion there are several factors that tip the balance towards the French side. The first and most important has a name: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Even at age 34, the Swede is still by far the best player in this tie. The second has to do with the form shown by both teams, PSG has been an example of regularity, even in a lower-level league. Manchester City, on the other hand, has combined great results with unusual losses. And the third is experience. PSG has been two times already in this round, for the Englishmen it would be only the first. And that counts, believe it or not.
Possibilities to advance: PSG 60-40 Manchester City