The UEFA Champions League finally continues this weekend after a long months wait after the Round of 16 concluded. The quarter finals kick off this Wednesday morning (AEST) with two massive matchups followed by another two on Thursday morning.
We take a look at some of the key games of the week and give our betting tips below.
Liverpool will face off against Portuguese team FC Porto in their quarter final first leg on Wednesday morning. The Reds are in the midst of a tight title race with Manchester City in the English Premier League. They currently lead City by just two points having played one extra game and have won their last four games in a row.
FC Porto currently sit second on the Primeira Liga table with a 22-3-3 record, trailing rivals Benfica by goal difference alone. They have won four of their last five games in the league and advanced to the quarter finals of the Champions League by defeating Roma 3-1 at home in the second leg.
Liverpool have never lost a European match against FC Porto in six previous encounters, winnign three and drawing three in the process. FC Porto were eliminated by the Reds in the Champions League last season in the Round of 16 after a 5-0 rout in Portugal in the first leg. Tough to look past the Reds here in their current form.
It will be an all English affair in the Wednesday morning clash between Tottenham and Manchester City from 5am. Tottenham will be looking to advance to their first Champions League Semi Final ever with a win over Manchester City, who they currently trail by a whopping 18 points in the English Premier League. The Spurs sit third on the EPL table with a 21-1-10 record and 64 points.
Manchester City have continued their dominance of last season in the English Premier League this year, racking up a 26-2-4 record and winning their last eight on the trot to surge back into the title race with Liverpool. City will have scars of their quarter final exit at the hands of another English team in Liverpool last season and will be hoping to make their first UCL semi since the 2015-16 loss to Real Madrid.
This is the first ever meeting in European competition between Tottenham and Manchester City but it will mark their 157th meeting in all competitions. The Citizens have won 11 of their last 16 games against Tottenham and their last three in a row, with all of those meetings coming in the Premier League. Tottenham have a dominant 10-1-4 record at home this season, however, and we think they are great value to pick up at least a draw here.
Arguably the game of the round sees Manchester United hosting Spanish giants Barcelona at Old Trafford on Thursday morning. Manchester United advanced to the quarter finals with a shock 3-1 away win over PSG in the return leg of their R16 matchup. The Reds have been fairly lacklustre in the EPL of late, however, suffering a 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton in their latest match to send them to sixth on the table.
With just seven games to play in the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona currently hold a 11 point advantage over their closest rivals and look set to hoist their 26th league trophy. After a first leg 0-0 draw at Lyon, Barcelona advanced to the quarter finals by dominating their home leg and coming away with a 5-1 win.
This is the first Champions League meeting between Barcelona and Manchester United since the 2011 Champions League final. On that day, Barcelona claimed a 3-1 to lift their fourth Champions League title. The Reds have never lost at home against Barcelona in European competition, and we think they can keep that streak alive in a big match Thursday morning.
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