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Analyzing the UEFA Champions League quarter-final draws

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
11.99K   //    16 Mar 2018, 21:15 IST

The quarter-final draws have turned out to be very exciting
The quarter-final draws have turned out to be very exciting

With the complicated rules put in place for the round of 16 - that two teams from the same league should not face off against one another, or that the teams that met in the group stages shouldn't draw each other (the latter is understandable) - the quarterfinals of this year's Champions League have not failed to deliver.

A clash between two Premier League powerhouses, a repeat of last year's final, relatively easy fixtures for two of the favourites to win the tournament - this draw was as exciting as it was quick. With nothing to slow him down, the former Milan legend, Andriy Shevchenko fished out the balls with lightning-quick speed to decide the fate of the teams involved.

The first leg of matches will take place on the 3rd and 4th of April, while the second legs are set to take place on the 10th and 11th of April.

Here's a look at how the teams are expected to perform and have performed so far in the season:


#1 Barcelona vs AS Roma

Roma will dread this duo once more as they are drawn against Barcelona
Roma will dread this duo once more as they are drawn against Barcelona

Barcelona have met Roma four times before this in the Champions League - with both the teams winning one each and two draws between them.

The last time these two sides met in the competition, was during the group stages of the 2015/16 season. Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw when they travelled to Rome, but decimated the Italian side at home with an unforgiving scoreline of 6-1, with braces from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The Blaugrana sit comfortably at the top of La Liga, with an 8 point difference ahead of their closest rivals - Atletico Madrid. They have scored 72 goals in 28 games in the league, while scoring 13 goals in 8 Champions League games, including 3 past both Chelsea and Juventus.

The Giallorossi, on the other hand, sit in 3rd place in Serie A, with both Napoli and Juventus too far ahead of them. They have scored 47 goals in 28 games in the league and 11 goals in 8 games in the Champions League. Surprisingly, they have scored 3 goals past Chelsea twice this season.

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Barcelona will be firm favourites to get into the semis, as they are after most draws. With Lionel Messi in scintillating form and their defence being well-structured, it will take Roma enormous energy if they are to spring a surprise.

Roma, while not favourites are no pushovers. As they exhibited against Chelsea, they are capable of scoring from all sides of the football pitch as well as defend with resoluteness. They have won 5 of their last 6 league games, including a surprise win against Napoli.

The problem for the Italians will be their position in the Serie A - they have games against Fiorentina and Lazio on the 7th and 15th of April respectively. If they lose their grip on the Champions League qualification spots by the time their game against Barcelona happens, will Roma prioritise the league games over a practically hopeless Champions League tie?

Key players:

Barcelona: Lionel Messi (attack) and Samuel Umtiti (defence)

AS Roma: Aleksander Kolarov (defence) and Edin Dzeko (attack)

Fixtures:

First leg: 4th April

Second leg: 10th April

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Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
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