8 teams advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals. Barcelona was the 8th team to qualify after comfortably beating Chelsea 3-0 at home, and advanced with 4-1 aggregate score. This is a post to list the qualified teams and the schedule for the remaining UCL matches as well as a hub for the upcoming match previews.
First off, the Champions League quarterfinals draw will be held on Friday 16th of March. The event starts at 12.00 CET from Nyon, Switzerland. Who advanced to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals?
- Barcelona (4-1 vs Chelsea)
- Bayern Munich (8-1 vs Besiktas)
- Juventus (3-2 vs Tottenham)
- Liverpool (5-0 vs Porto)
- Manchester City (5-2 vs Basel)
- Real Madrid (5-2 vs PSG)
- AS Roma (2-2 vs Shaktar)
- Sevilla (2-1 vs Manchester United)
One thing that changes from R16 to UCL QF stage is that there is no more country protection at the Champions League quarterfinals stage. Which means there could be an El Clasico in the QF stage, or Roma vs Juventus, or MCFC vs Liverpool etcetera. Also teams from same group stage can be drawn against each other now. The remaining Champions League matches will be played as follows;
- UEFA Champions League quarterfinals 1st leg’s will be played on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th of April. the 2nd leg’s will be played one week after on 10th and 11th of April. Who plays who and when, will be conducted in the draw on Friday.
- The eventual Champions League semifinals will be played on 24th/25th of April and 1st/2nd of May.
- UEFA Champions League final will be played on Saturday 26th of May in Kiev, Ukraine.
Update, 12.00 Friday 16th of March; The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals just took place, here are the 4 match-up’s drawn:
- Juventus vs Real Madrid – Tuesday 3rd of April, return leg on Wednesday 11th of April
- Sevilla vs Bayern Munchen – Tuesday 3rd of April, return leg on Wednesday 11th of April
- Barcelona vs AS Roma – Wednesday 4th of April, return leg on Tuesday 10h of April
- Liverpool vs Manchester City – Wednesday 4th of April, return leg on Tuesday 10th of April
Fairly interesting set of matches right there. Obviously Juventus vs Real Madrid and Liverpool vs Manchester City look to be the more interesting pairings, but the other 2 surely can come up with something special as well. For AS Roma the draw looks harsh, but let’s be honest they would have been the underdog vs any of the 7 teams, in my opinion them being drawn against Barcelona is perfect chance to rebuild themselves. Who do you back to advance into the Champions League semifinal stage? Cast your Champions League vote or check out how others voted.
The biggest surprise of R16 match-up’s, was not actually any of the matches, but what happened after one particular match. The comments of Jose Mourinho had people rubbing their eyes and ears for minutes, hours maybe even days. Absolutely classless if im being brutally honest. It’s actually not easy to explain what was said, even more so WHY he said it, so… Check out what he said from the video below.
Essentially what Jose Mourinho spewed out in the post-match press conference was;
“Ive sit in this chair twice before and i knocked out Man United at Old Trafford. With Porto… Manchester Untied out. With Real Madrid… Manchester United out. So i dont think its something new for the club.”
Yeah, either this was one of his strange ways of getting the spotlight off his players to protect them somehow. Or then the more plausible option; It was the only defensive reaction of Mourinho, which went south real fast. Essentially he belittled Manchester United, the club, the players, the fans and everyone in and around the club. This is nothing new from Mourinho, he’s done it with Chelsea and Real Madrid as well. One of the reasons im anything but a fan of Mourinho.
The fact remains though, that Sevilla was the better team on the pitch. Mourinho got everything wrong starting from the tactics to his selection of players. Some players were just downright horrible, namely Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba. Pogba only got roughly 30 minutes on the pitch, on which he contributed to absolutely nothing, except MUFC conceding twice. Alexis Sanchez got his name in the history books as well, by losing possession more times than any player in a history of the competition inside 90minutes.
There were some rather interesting post-match comments from Romelu Lukaku as well, he said;
“Some things were flawed, with some players. Some players were hiding”
If i had to bet who his target was, it was either Paul Pogba or Alexis Sanchez. Pogba for not starting, maybe there was some drama in the team selection, or Sanchez for not really turning up for the occasion. Either way, the elimination of Manchester United will probably generate some more football drama in the coming days/weeks. Lukaku later posted a “correction” that his little outburst was not directed at anyone, stating that “Never will i criticize my teammates!”.
Out of all the teams who qualified to the Champions League quarterfinals, Sevilla is the team that surprised many people by reaching the next stage. Cant say i personally was that surprised, i made a few winning bets with their 7.00 odds(partially just because the odds were so high, i might add though). AS Roma is a team you wouldn’t think is at Champions League quarterfinals beforehand, but they had a favourable draw, you could say.
Who is the favourite to lift the trophy before the Champions League quarterfinal draw has taken place?
Well, the usual suspects. Barcelona, Bayern and Real Madrid have to be the favourites. Outside chance for Manchester City. Of course if, say, Real Madrid and Barcelona are drawn against each other on Friday, things will get little bit more complex. It will open the door or two for a surprise semifinal team, and from that point on it’s a whole different ball game.
But lets see what kind of odds the bookies offer RIGHT NOW before the draw has taken place.
UCL Outright winner odds by Unibet:
- MCFC 4.00
- Barcelona 4.50
- Real Madrid 5.25
- Bayern Munich 5.75
- Liverpool 10.00
- Juventus 11.00
- AS Roma 41.00
- Sevilla 41.00
UCL Outright winner odds by William Hill:
- Manchester City 3.75
- Barcelona 4.33
- Bayern Munich 5.00
- Real Madrid 5.00
- Juventus 9.00
- Liverpool 9.00
- AS Roma 34.00
- Sevilla 34.00
UCL Outright winner odds by Intertops:
- Manchester City 4.00
- Barcelona 4.50
- Real Madrid 5.00
- Bayern Munich 5.50
- Juventus 10.00
- Liverpool 10.00
- AS Rome 34.00
- Sevilla 40.00
Quite surprisingly, Manchester City is the odds favourite to win Champions League 2017-2018. Now that’s a bet i wouldn’t put my money on, no way, no how. But, they do have a good track record so far this season, and i understand how they might be seen as one of the favourites(not as THE favourite by any means though).
Well yeah, this was just a quick post before the Champions League quarterfinals draw which will take place 12.00 CET on Friday 16th of March. More extensive speculation about the matches and so forth will be posted on Friday/Saturday.