The draw for the last eight of the Champions League was made this morning, but it has left us with more questions than answers when it comes to guessing who will be crowned kings of Europe.
The two teams that were probably holding their breath during the draw were Malaga and Galatasaray. I consider both of these teams to be the dark horses of the tournament and, in my opinion, both drew nasty opponents.
Don't expect either of these two teams to roll over and play dead, though, as they will most certainly try their best to continue on their quest for European domination.
Here are the match-ups for the last eight and what teams we should expect to make it to the semi-finals.
Real Madrid v Galatasaray
This is most certainly a David versus Goliath match-up but I expect it to be a thriller. Real Madrid have much more talent and skill behind the ball, but I think Real Madrid lack motivation.
After what seemed like a rather fortunate red card against Manchester United in the round of sixteen, Madrid were able to come back and take the second leg with ease. However, Jose Mourinho admitted "the better side lost" and it was true. Galatasaray, on the other hand, should not be seen as a pushover and are flying high right now. The Turkish side took down Schalke during midweek to keep their dream of being European champions alive. This isn't the time for the Turkish club to get a swelled head and dwell on past victories as they must focus on the giant they face in the future.
Prediction: Real Madrid will win this match but it is going to take them two legs. Galatasaray are a solid club but Madrid just have too much attacking power for them to handle and they will go crashing out not with style but with a sense of accomplishment knowing that they can step up to the table and play with the big boys.
Real Madrid to win 3-1 on aggregate.
Malaga v Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund, the German double winners, seemed to have their hands full in the last leg with Shakhtar Donetsk but proved otherwise. They dismantled Shakhtar with ease in the return leg of the contest, defeating them 3-0.
Malaga, on the other hand, overturned their first-leg deficit to win 2-0 in the return leg. This won't be the tight affair that everyone thinks that it will be. Will Malaga have enough gas in the tank to handle Dortmund over two legs? Can Dortmund finish off their opponents over one leg and rest easy for the second?
My answer to both of these questions is no. This is Champions League football and anything is possible.
Prediction: This is a no-brainer for me, it has to be Borussia Dortmund. I have a feeling that Malaga won't be able to handle the German double winners of last season. Dortmund have too much pace and a lot of confidence coming into this game.
Dortmund to win 3-0 in the first leg and 1-0 in the second.
PSG v Barcelona
This is what I call a slugfest. One team is feeling comfortable in the competition and the other found it's edge with an amazing comeback victory.
Although Barca's comeback did seem imminent seeing as they haven't lost at home in their last 19 UEFA Champions League matches, it gives them the confidence to move forward, both in their league ties as well as the Champions League.
PSG have been riding a high all season long with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and now with David Beckham in their corner. Barca's confidence could be popped should PSG take a hold of this tie in the first leg. PSG must win the battle in the midfield and contain Lionel Messi if they wish to even dream of winning this last eight matchup.
Prediction: It will come down to who makes that one mistake in either of the legs. The important thing is PSG must keep their heads and that includes Ibrahimovic. Any dumb mistakes by him will cost his team a shot at Champions League glory and will only improve Barcelona's chances. At this point it could go either way but I think that PSG will pull it off.
0-0 after the first leg and then 3-2 PSG in the second.
Bayern Munich v Juventus
Juventus had the easier round of sixteen tie out of anyone when they drew Scottish side Celtic, who were dismantled with ease. Not to knock the Scots but they were outclassed and outplayed. I still congratulate them on making it to the round of sixteen after making it out of their tough group.
Bayern Munich, on the other hand, almost slipped up while taking on a pesky Arsenal side that almost found its way through to the last eight but came up a goal shy and were sent home because of the away goal difference. Now it is time for Bayern to start firing on all cylinders because Juventus will hold nothing back. This is the best Juventus side that I have ever seen; they are balanced, in sync, and at the moment very, very dangerous.
I wouldn't be surprised if Juve manage to bag an away goal or two to keep things interesting. For Bayern, they must stay on their toes and focus on the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be in this match for both legs seeing he missed the second leg against the Gunners with the yellow card accumulation.
Prediction: I expect this to be a tight affair and I believe that it could go all the way to penalties. I must give the edge to Juventus, though. Bayern slipped up against Arsenal allowing them to score two goals and only squeaking by on the away goals rule. Sorry, Bayern, but that doesn't make me buy into the fact that you have what it takes to make it the final four.
Juventus to win over two legs, 3-2 on aggregate.
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