Bayern in the driver’s seat as they clash with PSG
The ever-increasing feud between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain will continue on Wednesday when the two sides face off to decide their Champions League last-16 tie.
Bayern picked up a 1-0 win in the first leg in Paris over a weakened PSG side who have made no secret of their confidence heading into the return fixture in Munich.
Champions League success is a top priority for both these sides, but one of them is destined for an early exit.
This is a huge game which could easily go either way. On any given day, these two teams can be the best on the planet, but they can also be beatable and unconvincing.
Given this game will be played on Bayern’s home turf, the advantage has to go to the Bundesliga side. Since losing their first game in 2022, Nagelsmann’s side have not lost at the Allianz Arena, although they have rarely faced anything like a PSG side who will throw caution to the wind in search of goals.
Expect major entertainment here as two heavyweights look to land the knockout blow. PSG should score at least once but, with no away goals anymore, a high-scoring draw would still see them crash out.
Even with regular ankle victim Neymar watching another crucial European contest from the sidelines, the lethal Messi-Mbappe combination can no doubt trouble a ravaged Bayern backline, and Wednesday’s second leg should certainly live up to the billing.
While surely capable of wiping out Bayern’s impeccable defensive home record in Europe, PSG were exposed on several occasions in their recent wins over Lille and Nantes, and the prolific Bavarians can match their visitors’ ruthlessness to advance to the last eight and prolong the Parisiens’ European agony.
Tottenham, AC Milan go head-to-head in London
Two sides that suffered defeats on Saturday in their respective leagues go head-to-head in London on Wednesday, with a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at stake.
Despite registering 21 shots, Tottenham Hotspur couldn’t find their way past Wolves this past weekend as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat. It wasn’t quite as dramatic for Milan, although Theo Hernandez’s strike would only be a late, late consolation as they suffered a 2-1 defeat on the road against Fiorentina.
It’s the Serie A side holding the advantage heading into the second leg at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following a 1-0 triumph at the San Siro three weeks ago. It was their third win in a row in the competition, as many as they had in their previous 17 in the UCL. (D5 L9).
But something is going to have to give on Wednesday. Milan have won just one of their last 14 away games in Champions League knockout stages (D6 L7), whilst Tottenham have lost each of their last four UCL knockout games dating back to their underwhelming final against Liverpool in the 2018-19 season, failing to score each time.
One of the challenges for Spurs in the UEFA Champions League this season as been the consistency of goal scoring. They’ve failed to score in both halves in any of their seven games so far this season, even failing to score at all on three separate occasions.
Home comforts will no doubt benefit Spurs’ chances of turning the tie on its head, but Conte is facing a thankless task to rally his profligate troops after a pair of demoralising domestic defeats.
Milan’s recent spate of underwhelming road performances could see the Scudetto-holders tread with caution too, but with a well-rested Leao returning to a near fully-fit squad, the Rossoneri can hold out for the draw which would seal their spot in the last eight, as Tottenham’s dreams of silverware crash and burn for another year.
When is the Champions League quarter-final draw?
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League will take place on Friday, March 17.
It will get underway at 11am, for those in the United Kingdom, and will typically take place at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
How will the draw work? what about the semi-final and final?
The quarter-final draw will consist of eight teams, being those who prevailed in the round of 16 ties.
As stated, there are no longer any seeds, while teams from the same country can now square off. Those who competed in the group stage together can also be drawn against each other in the quarter-final stage.
The semi-final draw will then immediately follow, meaning those who have progressed to the quarter-finals will also know their potential route to the final.
A draw will also me made to determine the ‘home’ team for the final, which will take place at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium, though that is purely for administrative purposes.
When will the quarter-finals take place?
The first legs of Champions League quarter-final stage will be played on April 11-12, while the return legs will be played on April 18-19.
The first legs of the Champions League semi-final stage will then take place on May 9-10, with the return legs on May 16-17.
The final will then take place on June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.