Champions League and Europa League Quarter Final Preview and Tips

After a short break for a mixture of domestic games and international fixtures, the Champions League and Europa League returns this week with the first leg of the four quarterfinals in each of the two competitions this week. In this article, we are going to bring you a preview of each of the eight games taking place across the week, together with our tips on what the top bets are in each.

Of course, you’ll need to ensure you are with a top online bookmaker this week so remember to check out the Welcome Offers currently available when you sign up with the likes of bet365 or Coral to decide which one is best for you.

We’ll go through the games in chronological order starting with the two matches scheduled for Tuesday night in the Champions League. The odds shown for each team is their current outright odds to win the trophy with bet365.

Champions League (7.45pm Kick Off)

Tuesday 3rd April

Juventus (10/1) v Real Madrid (9/2)

Venue: Allianz Stadium

This is the 19th time that these two giants have met in European competition and it is a repeat of the final of last year, won 4-1 by Real Madrid in Cardiff. Real have a slight advantage with 9 wins to Juventus 8 with 2 draws, but Juventus home record against Real is excellent with five wins and a draw in their last six meetings in Turin.

In the tournament this year, both sides finished second in their groups but have upped their performances in the knockout phase defeating two fancied teams, PSG and Spurs, to reach the quarter finals. I think this will be a tight opening first leg but I do fancy the Italian side, inspired by Paulo Dyabala, to take a narrow lead with them into the second leg.

Possible Juventus XI: (4-4-2) – Buffon, Lichsteiner, Sandro, Chiellini, Barzagli, Pjanic, Matuidi, Costa, Mandzukic, Higuain, Dybala

Possible Real Madrid XI: (4-3-3) – Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Kroos, Casemiro, Modric, Bale, Ronaldo, Isco

Top Tip: Juventus to win – 6/4 with bet365

Sevilla (66/1) v Bayern Munich (4/1)

Venue: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan

Sevilla’s superb win at Old Trafford will give them great confidence heading into this clash, but in truth I think Bayern Munich are a class above Manchester United at present. Jupp Heynckes side have already all but wrapped up the Bundesliga and they are also in the German Cup final and this competition is arguably their main focus for the next few weeks.

The German side have been hit by injuries to key men, notably Manuel Neuer, but despite that they have looked excellent and brushed aside Besiktas in the last round and in truth I can’t see Sevilla causing them too many problems here. I think Sevilla will score, but I am backing Bayern to win the game on the night.

Possible Sevilla XI: (4-3-3) – Rico, Escudero, Mercado, Kjaer, Lenglet, Banega, N’Zonzi, Sarabia, Vazquez, Correa, Ben Yedder

Possible Bayern Munich XI: (4-4-1-1) – Ulreich, Rafinha, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba, Ribery, James, Vidal, Robben, Muller, Lewandowski.

Top Tip: Bayern Munich to win and both teams to score – 12/5 with bet365.

Wednesday 4th April

Barcelona (5/2) v AS Roma (66/1)

Venue: Nou Camp

Lionel Messi’s brilliance was enough to see Barcelona past Chelsea in the last round while AS Roma scraped through on away goals against Shakhtar Donetsk. These teams have had different seasons, with Barcelona the model of consistency while Roma have been brilliant one week and awful the next.

Roma have some fine and talented players in their team but it is hard to see how they can cause Barcelona enough attacking problems in the Nou Camp. With Messi on fire and ably supported by Suarez and Dembele, I am backing Barcelona to build a big lead to take with them into the second leg in Rome.

Possible Barcelona XI: (4-3-3) – Ter Stegen, Sergio Roberto, Alba, Pique, Umtiti, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Dembele, Suarez, Messi

Possible AS Roma XI (4-5-1) – Alisson, Florenzi, Kolarov, Manolas, Fazio, Perotti, Nainggolan, Strootman, De Rossi, Under, Dzeko

Top Tip: Barcelona to win to nil – 11/10 with bet365

Liverpool (12/1) v Manchester City (3/1)

Venue: Anfield

Liverpool became the first team to beat Man City in the Premier League this season, winning 4-3 at Anfield but they were humbled 5-1 at the Etihad prior to that. City I think will have learned from that defeat at Anfield and I think they will approach this game very much with the second leg in mind and wanting to be at least level heading into that match.

The question is whether Liverpool will pressure them enough to allow them to do that and with this being a first leg, I think Liverpool may just be a tad more circumspect than they were in the league game and as such, I don’t think either team would mind too much heading into the second leg with things all square between them.

Possible Liverpool XI: (4-3-3) – Karius, Gomez, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Can. Wijnaldum, Oxlade Chamberlain, Mane, Firmino, Salah

Possible Man City XI: (4-3-3) – Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, Bernardo Silva, Aguero

Top Tip: Liverpool v Man City – Draw – 12/5 with bet365

Europa League (8pm Kick Off)

Thursday 5th April

Arsenal (3/1) v CSKA Moscow (33/1)

Venue: Emirates Stadium

These teams have met twice before in Europe with CSKA winning in Moscow and then earning a 0-0 draw back in the game at London, so Arsenal will be well aware of the risk CSKA pose, especially after their fine win against a Lyon team that I personally thought would go well in this competition.

However, Arsenal played very well to eliminate AC Milan 5-1 on aggregate and I don’t think CSKA pose quite the same threat as the Italian side and as with CSKA’s record in England being so poor, I think the Gunners will win the home leg relatively comfortably.

Possible Arsenal XI: (4-2-3-1) – Ospina, Bellerin, Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Wilshere, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck

Possible CSKA Moscow XI: (3-1-4-2) – Akinfeev, Berezutski.A, Ignashevich, Berezutski.V, Natcho, Nababkin, Kuchaev, Dzagoev, Golovin, Musa, Wernbloom

Top Tip: Arsenal to win to nil – 6/5 with bet365

Atletico Madrid (11/8) v Sporting Lisbon (25/1)

Venue: Wanda Metropolitano

It’s clear to see why Atletico are so many people’s favourites to win the Europa League after they thumped Lokomotive Moscow 5-1 in Russia after a 3-1 win in Spain. It was a superb performance by Diego Simeone’s men and earmarked them as the team to beat in this competition from now on.

Sporting came through in extra time against Viktoria Plzen but they are up against a totally different level of opposition this time around and with Atletico only losing once in Europe at home this season (to Chelsea in the Champions League group stage), I fancy the Spanish side to get a strong result here to take with them to Portugal.

Possible Atletico Madrid XI: (4-5-1) – Werner, Juanfran, Hernandez, Godin, Giminez, Thomas, Correa, Gabi, Saul, Koke, Griezmann

Possible Sporting Lisbon XI: (4-2-3-1) – Patricio, Battaglia, Coentrao, Mathieu, Andre Pinto, Petrovic, Fernandes, Ruiz, Martins, Acuna, Dost

Top Tip: Atletico Madrid to win to nil – 10/11 with bet365

Lazio (15/2) v Salzburg (16/1)

Venue: Stadio Olimpico

Lazio have been scoring plenty of goals of late and they look a decent side going forward, if liable to concede a few goals going the other way. They face a Salzburg side who surprised many by knocking out Dortmund in the last round although they have been very strong in this competition this season and perhaps deserved to reach this stage.

Lazio’s home form hasn’t been the most consistent in Europe this season and that will give Salzburg hope but I think the firepower Lazio will possess will see them win the game, but it could be a close run thing in the second leg if, as I expect they will, Salzburg can grab a vital away goal.

Possible Lazio XI: (3-5-1-1) – Strakosha, Bastos, De Vrij, Radu, Marusic, Parolo, Lucas, Luis Alberto, Lulic, Felipe Anderson, Immobile

Possible Salzburg XI: (4-4-2) – Walke, Lainer, Ramalho, Caleta-Car, Ulmer, Samassekou, Haidara, Berisha, Schlager, Dabbur, Hwang

Top Tip: Lazio to win and both teams to score – 5/2 with bet365

Red Bull Leipzig (9/1) v Marseille (10/1)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Both these teams had very good wins in the last round against Zenit St Petersburg and Athletic Bilbao and this, as the odds suggest, should be a very evenly contested match. I think Red Bull have the better attacking talent, especially in Timo Werner, but Dmitri Payet’s brilliance for Marseille can unlock any side and he is one player Leipzig will be very wary of.

Red Bull’s home form at times this season hasn’t been the best and they have often produced better performances away from home and as a result, I have a sneaky feeling that this game is going to end up in a 1-1 draw, leaving all to play for in the second leg in a week’s time.

Possible Red Bull Leipzig XI: (4-4-2) – Gulacsi, Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Bernardo, Demme, Forsberg, Keita, Bruma, Werner, Augustin

Possible Marseille XI: (4-3-3) – Mandanda, Sakai, Rami, Rolando, Amavi, Lopez, Luis Gustavo, Thauvin, Payet, Ocampos, Germain.

Top Tip: Red Bull Leipzig v Marseille – Draw – 12/5 with Bet365

 

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