By Brett Mozarsky

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

 

As the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals approaches, I break down each game and predict who advances.

PSG vs. Barcelona 

In a first leg that ended in a 2-2 draw, PSG played at home to one of the best, well-known squads in the world. In an interesting matchup between a La Liga powerhouse and a French Ligue 1 powerhouse, quite a few things were notable. First off, Barcelona was very much prone to injury, as Messi was taken off for a hamstring  in the 45th minute and  Javier Mascherano recieved an injury in the 84th minute. The good news for the Spanish side is that it appears Messi will be ready to play in the 2nd leg. Another notable statistic is that Barcelona dominated the game of possession. At the end of full time, Barcelona had 68 percent of the possession, while PSG only had 32 percent.

This second leg should be the most exciting of them all, as giants clash in this battle of talent. PSG will be without experienced defender, Thiago Silva, which may leave the back line vulnerable against a quick Barcelona  counter attack. Barcelona’s midfield will have to be on key if they want to win. Therefore, Xavi and Andres Iniesta will have to set the tempo. We all can se that the key matchup of the match will be Ibrahimovic against Pique, but PSG must have a second option on the attacking front. That is where Ezequiel Lavezzi comes in. In UCL match play so far, Lavezzi has five goals off of fourteen shots. Watch out for this argentine to be a hidden treasure in the match.

In all, Barcelona will outlast PSG in front of their home crowd, in which they win 2-0. Barca will therefore advance 4-2 on aggregate. As AC Milan had experienced before, playing in Camp Nou is almost a death sentence.

Juventus vs. Bayern Munich 

In what appeared to be an exciting match between two skill full clubs, Bayern pleased their home crowd with a dominating win. The German side defeated Juventus 2-0 in the first leg of their UCL matchup. Bayern Munich managed to command the match taking twenty three shots on net, while the Italians only blasted eight. Both clubs are capable of scoring as Bayern Munich’s Muller has five goals and Juventus’ Quagliarella has four in UCL play.

I look for someone to step up for Juventus in this upcoming match, whether it be Quagliarella, Pirlo, scoring-threat Vidal, or even keeper Buffon. Either way, someone in black and white needs to have their presence felt. As for Bayern Munich, this well composed midfield of theirs must keep the game under control. I also feel that young defender, David Alaba, will give the italians a scare with deep abilities on the offensive side of the ball (2 goals in UCL play so far).

At full time in the 2nd leg of a great matchup of midfields, the match will end in a 1-1 draw. Therefore, Bayern Munich advances on aggregate at 3-1.

Galatasaray vs. Real Madrid 

A world super team vs. a Turkish squad of forgotten heroes. Yes; Galatasaray has both Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder. But, Drogba is way out of his prime and Robben hasn’t really made his mark yet in the UCL. In the first leg at a roaring crowd in the Santiago Bernabeu, Real pleased their home supporters with a cake-walk, 3-0 win. Goals were scored by Ronaldo, Benzema, and Higuain.

Real Madrid is just thoroughly deep from their startling eleven to the bench. Ronaldo (leads UCL with 9 goals), Benzema, and Higuain are the three major scoring threats. Ozil is truly the world’s best “creator”, Di Maria is a commander in the midfield, Modric is a dynamic winger, Ramos is solid in the back, and Xabi Alonso’s experienced presence makes all the better. As of right now, Real Madrid couldn’t be playing better. At the same time, Galatasaray has an eight-goal scoring threat of its own named Burak Yilmaz. The 27 year old Turkish attacker has been the real major threat of this club throughout all Champions League play. All they can do is hope and pray.

At full time in Turkey, Real Madrid will win 2-1, only conceding a goal to a motivated Galatasaray attack in front of their home fans. Real advances 5-1 on aggregate.

Malaga vs. Borussia Dortmund 

Two not so well known clubs by Americans, each with one formidable young star. The first leg of this matchup ended at a nil to nil draw, played in front of Malaga’s home crowd. The game was very evenly matched, for possession ended in 50-50 deadlock. Neither side was able to gain that necessary edge to their game.

This 2nd leg will be very interesting to watch, as it will be played in Germany. Borussia Dortmund has the 20 year old superstar Mario Gotze. An absolute dangerous threat in midfield, his abilities are keen and well developed, even for his young age. He can score and assist his mates, for he is truly a machine. Gotze’s partnership with young Marco Reus makes the Dortmund midfield vicious. Also, watch out for the major Dortmund scorer Lewandowski, who buries shots past keepers in a flash. On the other side, Malaga’s squad is made up of an older bunch, with the exception of Isco. The young Spanish attacker is quick and their best goal scorer. Honestly, in my opinion, he is truly their backbone of speed and energy.

Dortmund will please its home supporters with a 1-0 win, goal scored by Lewandowski. Aggregate: 1-0 in favor of Dortmund.

 

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