The UEFA Champions League
Yesterday, the official draw of the UEFA Champions League’s Quarter Finals and Semi Finals were conducted. For most people like me, who are used to watching draws with representatives from all participating teams present, it was very awkward to see a social distanced draw, where each person was seen standing away from another.
In the end, there were a few surprises, but not many can complain of an unfair draw as at this point, most teams matching up seem equal.
The first QF game would see the winner of the Manchester City – Real Madrid match play against the winner of the Juventus – Lyon match. I predict Manchester City to beat Real Madrid in their match up, and would be rooting for Juventus to get the better of Lyon. The reason for choosing City as winners is that Real Madrid will be without their captain, Ramos, who is suspended. This should give City the upper hand to pull clear against their rivals. I believe the winner of QF 1 would be Juventus, who would be moving on after beating Manchester City.
QF 2 would be the one of the two matchups between teams that have never won the competition. RB Leipzig will be seen playing against the team that eliminated the reigning champions, Athletico Madrid. This match brings a new sort of excitement to the tournament as neither of the teams have won the competition. RB Leipzig plays an all-out attack style of football, while Athletico Madrid plays with extreme caution. I would predict RB Leipzig walking away with this one, regardless of the fact that they will be without their top scorer, Timo Werner, who recently signed a contract for London-based, Chelsea.
QF 3 is what most fans would be hooked upon, where the winner of the Barcelona – Napoli match will play against the winner of the Bayern Munich – Chelsea match. Through assumption, many pundits expect to see a Bayern Munich versus Barcelona Quarter Final. Bayern Munich is the most in-form team in the entire world at the moment and is finding no trouble getting goals. Barcelona, on the other hand, has Lionel Messi to call upon. I predict Bayern Munich to get through with certain ease as their players seem to be scoring goals for fun, with Barcelona struggling to get goals at all.
The second match that has seen no Champions League titles among the teams is QF 4, which sees Atalanta battle it out against PSG. This could be the match that sees the most goals as both teams play high tempo-attacking football. While PSG has an unbelievable strike force that consists of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, Atalanta has defied all odds by reaching the Quarter Finals by scoring 16 goals in the 8 games that they have played! Even though they have failed to perform at this stage in previous years, I would think that PSG will overcome the stern test Atalanta provides.
Semi-Final 1 will be the match between the winners of QF 1 and QF 3. Following my predictions, Juventus will be playing against Bayern Munich in what would be a mouth-watering clash. It would also see Bayern Munich play Cristiano Ronaldo immediately after beating Lionel Messi’s Barcelona!
Semi-Final 2 will be played among winners of QF 2 and QF 4. My predictions would see RB Leipzig face-off against PSG, which, too will be a delicious game to watch.
The UEFA Europa League
Most people consider the Europa League to be of no importance, that its format is invalid and unnecessary. This competition, though, gives teams from Ukraine, Portugal, Greece and other small countries a shot against teams from England, Spain and France. This year’s draw seems no different.
QF 1 will see the winner of the Shakhtar Donetsk – VFL Wolfsburg match play against the winner of the Basel – Eintracht Frankfurt match. Ukraine’s Shakhtar is on the way to win against Germany’s Wolfsburg as clear underdogs. Wolfsburg will be expected to stage a comeback as they would be the clear winners on paper. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s FC Basel is also the underdogs in their match against Germany’s Frankfurt. Frankfurt should be able to fire up and get the expected result from them. I will expect Shakhtar play against Frankfurt in what should be a close game and in the end, Frankfurt should make it through.
QF 2 looks to be the easiest of all as an in-form Manchester United will come through as eventual winners, no matter what.
QF 3 will be quite interesting as we would see the winner of the Inter Milan – Getafe match and Bayer Leverkusen – Rangers match. Italy’s Inter will see to get an easy win against Spain’s Getafe, who is always full of surprises. Germany’s Leverkusen too will be aiming for an easy victory against a lowly Rangers (England) side. An Inter Milan versus Bayer Leverkusen game could go either way as both teams boast a strong attack. I predict Inter making it through, though.
QF 4 will be the closest encounter as all four teams deserve to win. The winner of the Wolves – Olympiacos match will play against the winner of the Roma – Sevilla match. England’s Wolves would be clear contenders against Greece’s Olympiacos due to their recent form and Italy’s Roma will also look to beat the tough Sevilla, who hail from Spain. I would hope that Wolves go through as they have been a team to watch all year round, and a semi-final place would be worth their efforts.
Semi-Final 1 will be played against winners of QF 4 and QF 1. According to my predictions, Wolves will be seen playing against Frankfurt, which should be one hell of a game.
Semi-Final 2 will be played against winners of QF 2 and QF 3. Following my predictions, both potential winners will be seen facing off against one another. Both Inter and Manchester United are heavy favourites to walk away with the trophy, so the game will add extra flair.
So these were my predictions for the two elite-most tournaments of Europe. Don’t agree with me? Share your views in the comments! Tell me your predictions and who you expect to win the two classy trophies!