The Champions League is back with a bang, and the quarter-final first legs promise to be nothing short of thrilling. The business end of the competition has arrived, and the final eight teams are set to go head-to-head.
One of the standout fixtures of the round sees Manchester City take on Bayern Munich. The match sees Pep Guardiola return to face his old club for the first time since leaving Bayern Munich for Manchester City in 2016. Guardiola was expecting to face Julian Nagelsmann’s team, but after his sacking, Bayern appointed Thomas Tuchel. Guardiola is more familiar with Tuchel’s style, and this clash promises to be a tactical battle.
Real Madrid faces Chelsea in another exciting fixture. The Blues have had an eventful season, starting the campaign with Frank Lampard in charge and ending it with Tuchel leading them to Champions League glory. In 2022-23, Chelsea started the season with Tuchel at the helm and will end it with Lampard hoping to lead them to another Champions League triumph. Real Madrid will be looking to add to their record 13 Champions League titles, and this match could go either way.
AC Milan takes on Napoli in what promises to be a fascinating match. One player to watch out for is Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, the Georgian winger who has become a superstar in Serie A. Kvaratskhelia has 12 goals and 10 assists in Serie A this season and is a key player for Napoli, who are currently runaway leaders in the league.
Inter Milan takes on Benfica in another exciting fixture. Despite selling over £200m worth of talent this season, Benfica has looked almost unbeatable under German journeyman manager Roger Schmidt. They finished top of a Champions League group involving PSG and Juventus and blew away Club Bruges in the last 16. However, they suffered a defeat to Porto on Friday, and Inter Milan will be looking to take advantage of any weaknesses in their opponents.
The Champions League quarter-final first legs promise to be full of drama and excitement. The best teams in Europe will be battling it out for a place in the semi-finals, and fans around the world will be glued to their screens. Who will come out on top and take a step closer to lifting the coveted trophy? Only time will tell.