By News Team
5th August 2020
We’re in for a real treat this weekend as the Champions League makes its eagerly anticipated return.
Four teams are already through to next week’s quarter-finals. There are four more slots up for grabs as the teams battle it out across Friday and Saturday night.
Epic could await at the Etihad
Where else to start than with serial Champions League winners Real Madrid’s trip to the Etihad Stadium on Friday to play Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, where the tie is finely poised after the Citizens secured a fine 2-1 victory away at the Santiago Bernabeu back in February. It should mean we’re all set up for a classic.
While Madrid have made a habit of winning this competition throughout their history, including four of the last six editions, City have been perennial underachievers since returning to Europe’s top table at the beginning of the last decade. Despite having an immensely talented squad in that time they have reached the semi-finals just once. That hugely professional victory in Madrid, however, suggests the tide may have turned in City’s favour, and as a result they are the 10/3 joint favourites to go all the way this year.
Holding that 2-1 lead from the first leg, as well as a vitally important two away goals, ensures they go into Friday’s clash as the 1/8 favourites to advance to the last eight, with Madrid at 9/2. The hosts have been in impressive form in the Premier League with eight wins from their last 10, though they are without talisman Sergio Aguero, who will be sorely missed in this kind of encounter.
But while Madrid come into this clash as the underdogs, they will be sure they have the ability to turn this around. As mentioned, they’ve been here and done that in the Champions League so won’t be overawed by the occasion, while they have won 10 of their last 11 games domestically to secure the La Liga title. Confidence in the camp will be high. Madrid’s top scorer this season, Karim Benzema, has four goals in his last four games and is 5/1 to open the scoring here.
It’s a tough one to call as City could well provide a wobble and Madrid could turn up on the top of their game. We could be in for a long ride – and it’s 33/1 for either team to win in extra-time.
Juventus seeking to overturn first leg deficit
One game that’s on a real knife-edge is the encounter between Juventus and Lyon. The French side hold a narrow one goal lead after the first leg, but with the quality within the Juventus team this one is far from over.
Although Juve (42/100 to win in 90 minutes and 4/5 to qualify) won yet another Serie A title this season, they haven’t been in the best recent form, losing three of their last four matches. This is a top-quality side, though, and as has become customary they’ll be hoping that man Cristiano Ronaldo can dazzle on the biggest stage. He has a pretty handy record against Lyon with four goals and six assists in his 11 appearances against them. Ronaldo is 2/1 to score first, while he’s 6/10 to score anytime.
While Juventus will be relying on Ronaldo, Lyon (7/1 to win in 90 minutes and 10/11 to qualify) will be looking to Moussa Dembele to help them through to the quarter finals. The 24-year-old has 22 goals in all competitions this season 7/1 to open the scoring on Thursday.