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UEFA Champions League: Quarter-Finals Preview

UEFA Champions League: Matchday 1 Tuesday Preview

Europe’s elite competition reaches its climactic stage as eight teams remain in the tournament. Liverpool are short-priced at home to Porto, who they meet for a second time in a row in the knockout stages of the Champions League campaign, while Tuesday’s other matchup sees an all-English affair when Tottenham host Manchester City at their new stadium. Wednesday throws up arguably the biggest tie of the round as Manchester United host Barcelona at Old Trafford in a repeat of that 2011 final, which the Catalans came out 3-1 victors. Elsewhere, giant-killers, Ajax, will be looking to build on that emphatic result over Real Madrid in hope of knocking out Juventus, or at least by getting a positive result in the first leg. Without further ado, let’s get straight into the action!

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Tuesday 9 April

Liverpool 3/10 
Draw 4/1 
Porto 8/1 

Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his Liverpool team will not suffer any form of complacency when his side host Porto this coming Tuesday. The Reds are overwhelming favourites, but Klopp has insisted that Porto were not on his wish list. These sides met last season in the knockout stages with Liverpool winning 5-0 on aggregate, although all five goals came in Portugal as the sides shared the spoils at this venue in a goalless stalemate. Porto are winless in 18 trips to England, and with Liverpool starting to peak at the perfect time in their season, it really could be as one-sided as the betting suggests. Take the Reds on the (-1) Handicap here at 17/20.

Tottenham 32/10 
Draw 28/10 
Manchester City 15/20 

Tottenham and Manchester City square off for the first time in a European competition with English champions, City, clear favourites to advance through to the semi-finals. Pep Guardiola did state, however, that this tie will be 50/50 and that league positions mean very little in the Champions League. For Spurs, this will be their first Champions League match at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with City looking to repeat the result they managed to get at Wembley Stadium, winning 1-0. In the 14 times Guardiola has come up against Mauricio Pochettino, the Spanish tactician has lost just twice, winning eight of their head-to-head battles. My money is on Man City here at 15/20.

Wednesday 10 April

Manchester United 5/2 
Draw 51/20 
Barcelona 1/1 

Manchester United play their first Champions League game with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer permanently employed as full-time boss. After the draw was conducted, Solskjaer stated that these are the type of games United want, and that showed when the Red Devils went away to Paris Saint-Germain and won 3-1. United, though, have just one win in eight attempts against Barcelona and with Lionel Messi in sublime form, it certainly doesn’t look easy for Man United. United have already lost on their ground to both Juventus and PSG. My money is on Barca here at even money.

Ajax 24/10 
Draw 9/4 
Juventus 23/20 

Ajax will be hoping to continue their fairy-tale run in the Champions League when they prepare to take on high-flying Juventus. Ajax boss, Erik ten Hag, has admitted that he is relaxed ahead of this crunch tie, and also stated that advancing is a realistic idea that Ajax players cannot abandon in their heads. Juventus will be hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit for this clash after sustaining an injury while on international duty. The Old Lady will also be looking to maintain their impressive head-to-head record over Ajax, enduring a 10-game unbeaten run away to the Dutch champions. My money is on a draw here.

QUAD @ 20/1
Liverpool (-1) Handicap 17/20
Man City Win 15/20
Barcelona Win 1/1
Ajax vs Juventus Draw 9/4

Written by Jesse Nagel

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