UEFA Champions League 2018-19: Ranking the quarter-final match-ups
The Champions League quarter-final draw was held on Friday and the schedule for the rest of the tournament has been finalized. Catalan giants Barcelona are going to face English giants Manchester United, Juventus would face Ajax Amsterdam, Liverpool would meet Porto and Tottenham Hotspur would take on Manchester City.
Big clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG have already been knocked out, and therefore, the likes of Barca, United, Juve and City would fancy their chances of winning the biggest trophy in club football. Moreover, football fans worldwide would expect to watch some exciting contests in the month of April.
The winner of the Barca-United clash would take on the winner of the Liverpool-Porto tie in the semifinal and the winner of the Juve-Ajax tie would face the winner of the Tottenham-Man City clash.
We would now rank the quarter-final ties in terms of importance and excitement.
#4 Liverpool vs Porto
Liverpool beat Bayern 3-1 in Munich to ensure qualification for the quarter-finals, after a goalless draw in the first leg. They are also in contention for winning the Premier League title this season. Jurgen Klopp’s men would be reasonably happy with the draw, as they have possibly got the easiest opponent in this round.
Porto would be no pushovers though, and have actually won the Champions League once. They beat Italian heavyweights Roma in the round of 16, and are performing quite well under the tutelage of former Portuguese international Sergio Conceicao.
They have had a good goal-scoring record in the Champions League so far this season, and might pose some problems to Liverpool’s defence in the quarter-final. However, Liverpool would start firm favorites in that clash, as they have one of the best attacks in the world, consisting of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Salah has scored 20 goals this season so far, while Mane has chipped in with 19 goals. Both would be hopeful of scoring against Porto in the quarter-final. Mane was in excellent form against Bayern, and scored a brace against them. Moreover, Liverpool also have a good defence and a very solid midfield comprising of the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Giorginio Wijnaldaum. Virgil Van Dijk has been a revelation as a central defender for them.
Both Liverpool and Porto are previous European champions, but the former should prove to be too strong for the latter in the upcoming quarter-final. It is safe to assume that Liverpool already have a foot on the semifinal, and therefore their clash with Porto is likely to be the least exciting of the four quarter-final match-ups.