QFs First Leg, Champions League Update
There is plenty of action in the UEFA Champions League to appeal to Australia’s soccer punters, especially now that the tournament has reached a critical stage, halfway through the two quarter-final legs. Sadly for those who have been supporting Leicester City since last year’s stunning English Premier League victory, it looks highly unlikely that the only English side left in the tournament will make the semis.
They lost their quarter-finals first leg against Atletico Madrid 1-0 on Wednesday, and it is doubtful whether they will be able to finish two goals up this Tuesday to make the final four. Even playing in Leicester, they will probably need more than avid home-ground support to pull it off.
City went into a slump almost immediately after their historic EPL win, although the side has improved since the sacking of manager Claudio Ranieri. Sadly, it may not be enough. As some experts predicted, City have looked anything but world-class whenever they come up against acknowledged giants of international football.
Barca Needs Big Win in Juventus Rematch
The match that will interest fans the most on Wednesday is between two top teams in the tournament: Juventus and Barcelona. The Spanish side will be looking for another extraordinary comeback at Camp Nou, after losing 3-0 in Turin.
That isn’t an impossible feat, of course, as Barcelona proved in the Round of 16 with an historic first. Four goals down to PSG after the first leg, it didn’t seem possible that they could make the quarter-finals, but they did it anyway, with a magnificent 6-1 win at home. Supporters will be hoping for another glorious comeback on Tuesday.
Bayern Also Looking for a Comeback
Bayern Munich is another team that could be worth a punt in Tuesday’s second leg. Despite losing 2-1 at home to Real Madrid, the German side is still one of the favourites to go all the way, but they will need to win by at least two goals in Madrid.
The other second leg scheduled for Wednesday is between Monaco and Borussia Dortmund. Monaco are sitting pretty after a 3-2 win in Germany, but in fairness, their postponed match was played just a day after the Dortmund team bus had been targeted in a bombing attack. So it’s possible the German team were still shaken by the incident. After time to settle, they could well claw it back in the Monaco rematch.
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