On the dates between the 5th and 13th of April, Chelsea, Man Utd, Tottenham, Inter Milan, Schalke, Barcelona, Shaktar Donetsk and Real Madrid will fight for a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Two weeks ago the draw was made and this is what came out:
Real Madrid vs Spurs
Chelsea vs Man Utd
Inter Milan vs Schalke
Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk
So, whos going through to the semi’s? Here are my predictions for the overall aggregate score, over both legs.
Real Madrid vs Spurs. The first leg at the Bernabeu should be an absoloute belter, as should the second leg. But I can see Madrid coming out on top in this one. Their league results at the Bernabeu read Played 18, Won 18, and I can’t see Spurs being the first team to create a slip-up here. I hope for the sake of Tottenham that the tie is still alive come the return leg because it should be a great night at the lane for sure. I want to give the lilywhites a chance but I just can’t see it myself. 3-0.
The second leg will be at the Lane, and, despite Tottenham not having as good of a home record than Madrid, they will make that place a fortress come the 13th. To be honest, I can see a Spurs victory but not enough to see them advance. Still, it would be a tremendous achievement for them to beat Madrid and one that will go down in history as a great night. 2-1 (Aggregate score, 4-2 Madrid).
Chelsea vs Man Utd.
Chelsea will go into this all English Quarter Final off of the back of an enthrawling game against Stoke whilst United had a similar type of game against West Ham. Chelsea are now out of the title race but United are still in 3 competitions which ironically could work against them. Despite Chelsea sitting 4th in the Barclays Premier League, I put them as favourites for this encounter against the possible future League champions. The first leg here I can see as a 1-0 victory for the Blues which would leave the tie beautifully poised for the return leg at Old Trafford. In recent travels, Chelsea have a decent record at Old Trafford and I can see them doing a job once more. I think it will be a draw on the night, maybe 1-1? Obvoiusly that will take Carlo Ancelotti’s side through to a semi final, 2-1 on aggregate.
Barcelona vs Shakhtar Donetsk
The favourites for the competition, Barcelona, will come up against what may be regarded as the form side of the tournament so far. Donetsk peformed very well in the group stages, beating Arsenal at home 20 and topping the group emphatically. And then thumping Roma in the last round 6-3 on aggregate is a great result which included a great away win in Rome, proving that their home form is not the only thing keeping them in this competition. Barca obvioulsly taught Arsenal how to play the beautiful game in the round of 16, swiping them aside. It looks to me as if they may win the European Cup this term but Shakhtar will be no rollover. I fancy Barcelona to beat Donetsk 3-1 at the Camp Nou, and beat them 2-0 away. Having said this, that could flatter The Catalans. (5-1 on aggregate)
Inter Milan vs Schalke 04.
Inter provided the biggest shock of the Champo! (Champions) League so far, when they fought back from a 1-0 defecite coming into the away leg against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Stadium. But thanks to a Goran Pandev winner 3 minutes from time, Inter grabbed a 3-2 win in Munich to win the tie on away goals. So, could the team that looked dead and buried when beaten by Spurs at White Hart Lane make it into the semi’s for a second successive year? Well, they’ll have to overcome a very inexperienced team in Schalke 04, especially when it comes to the European Cup. But, I think, despite the fact that Inter could win the first leg 2-1. I’m going to go for a 2-0 Schalke win in the second leg, and for them to go through to face Ancelotti’s Chelsea in the semi finals.