Cleats is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
The round of 16 was full of shocking results with Ajax defeating reigning champions Real Madrid five to three on aggregate, Manchester United's shock comeback over PSG, and Liverpool's incredible road win against Bayern Munich.
Therefore, it is hard to predict what is to come next in the quarter finals. For those who are unaware of what teams were drawn against each other, here is the draw:
- Ajax vs. Juventus
- Manchester City vs. Tottenham
- Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona
- Liverpool vs. Porto
The first fixture, Ajax and Juventus, is an old versus new fixture. Ajax, who have an abundance of young and upcoming stars with Barcelona bound Frenkie De Jong, Matthijs De Ligt, and a strong goalkeeper, Andre Onana. Their performance against Real Madrid showed what a group of dedicated souls were capable of, and that's upsetting one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
However, Real Madrid are in their worst form since the 08/09 season. Sitting third in La Liga, and having lost to Barcelona twice in the same week, Real Madrid were at an all time low, which could have also been the reason for Ajax's triumph.
Now looking at the opposition, Juventus have been in the form Real Madrid wishes they were in. Winning all but one of their Series A match-ups, it would be shameful to put doubt on the Old Lady. Especially with a phenomenal Cristiano Ronaldo in his finest form, they will put Ajax in a difficult position. Consider, Juventus' form at home, even if Ajax pulled off a result in Amsterdam, it is very possible Juventus would pull off another upset at home much like Atletico Madrid.
With all this being considered, all facts of both teams considered, I put Juventus through to the semi-finals, but I think Ajax will put up an intense fight.
Manchester City vs. Tottenham
Furthermore, the next fixture being Manchester City and Tottenham. Both sides have quality players. This one will be a goal fest. Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Christian Eriksen, and Leroy Sane, who had an incredible night against a miserable Schalke, they will all contribute to their sides.
Tottenham facing a drop in form in the Premier League could come into effect for their match-up. Manchester City got the better of Tottenham earlier in the season on the road, although it was a one goal game. Tottenham also struggled quite a bit in their group during the group stage.
On the other hand, Manchester City did not have the easiest group stage either. You could even argue that their round of 16 opponent was shooting practice for them. With all that being said, who will come out on top between these two?
I predict Manchester City will ultimately follow through as they are bigger favorites on the team sheet and they are still in a fine form. I will not doubt that this will be a fun game to watch.
Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona
Does Messi ever truly disappoint? If it comes down to FC Barcelona versus Juventus, it'll be a battle to remember, but let's take a step back and focus on these fixtures.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made quite the team out of Manchester United since Jose Mourinho's departure from the club. All things considered, they are having a drop in form much like Tottenham. They have lost two games in a row to Wolverhampton and Arsenal. Whether this will carry into Champions League, well we won't know until the match days.
Manchester United have a talented line-up, from young and upcoming to middle of their career and very experienced. Romelu Lukaku being a player whose form is returning after a long drought, he could be goal dangerous for the game against Barcelona. Not to mention, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took PSG out of the running with a group of young players. It's safe to say they are capable of causing issues for Barcelona.
Looking at Barcelona, you have to consider Messi. He is unstoppable. His second leg against Lyon was beautiful. Two goals and two assists, if you had a fantasy league team with him on it, you surely earned plenty of points. However, their display wasn't always perfect.
Glancing at their success in the Champions League in the past two years, it can be seen that they have exited in the quarter finals both times. Last year, it looked to be that they were on the right track, but then Roma took advantage of a defensive weakness. That weakness could be seen against Lyon as they seemed more exposed as the game went on.
I think Barcelona has this one covered. I think they can adjust their defense so it can hold the threat of Lukaku and Rashford.
Liverpool vs. Porto
The final fixture. Liverpool and Porto. They both are having strong years in the Champions League. Both are capable of going through when you consider their quality.
Liverpool have had a star studded attack since Mohamad Salah's arrival at Anfield. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino combined with Salah create a potent and dangerous side for Liverpool. With Alisson and Virgil Van Dijk covering the back, Liverpool look like they will make another run to the final, and this time without Real Madrid stopping them.
The opposition should not be left out though. While Roma wasn't the most difficult opponent to overcome, they still had to overcome a worthy opponent. That being said, Porto do also have a phenomenal attack as Moussa Marega has been quite the goalscorer. The Portuguese side will be another challenge for Liverpool.
I do believe that Liverpool will come out victorious, but it won't be an easy time as Porto will want to move forward badly. Whether or not they will be able to beat Liverpool, well that's what we have to watch the games for.
These fixtures could go any way as the game of football is full of surprises. These are my predictions, what are yours?