UEFA Champions League 2018/2019: Previewing all the quarterfinal matches
It's official, the draws for the 2019/2019 Champions League quarterfinals have been made and we have been served some pretty enthralling fixtures.
Judging by what panned out in the last round, the drama seems set to continue, as the teams prepare to continue their quest to be crowned European champions come May in Madrid.
The quarterfinal draws in full :
Ajax vs Juventus
Liverpool vs Porto
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Barcelona vs Manchester United
However, it was not just the draws for the last eight that was made, as teams can also look forward to the future if they qualify, with the semifinal draws also being made.
The semifinal draws
SF 1 Tottenham / Manchester City vs Ajax / Juventus
SF 2 Barcelona / Manchester United vs Liverpool/Porto
As can be seen, there are also some potentially exciting semifinal clashes, with the question on everybody's mind being if this is the season where we finally see the dream UCL final between Ronaldo and Messi (as the draws have kept them apart until potentially the final)
However, we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves by thinking that far, as there are still some very tricky fixtures to navigate before reaching that thrilling climax.
The first leg of the UCL quarterfinals would be played between April 9th and 10th with the return fixtures holding just a week later between the 16th and 17th. In this piece, we shall be giving an in-depth preview of each of the quarterfinal fixtures.
Ajax vs Juventus
Head to Head record - Matches Played (12)
Juventus wins (6) Ajax wins (2) Draws (4)
Players to watch - Juventus (Cristiano Ronaldo), Ajax (Hakim Ziyech)
A clash between two former winners of this tournament. Ajax have been the surprise package of the season so far, holding their own over two legs against Bayern Munich in the group stage before impressively eliminating Real Madrid in the last round.
On their part, Juventus completed one of the most memorable comebacks in Champions League history as they came from a 2-0 first leg deficit to eliminate Atletico Madrid with a Ronaldo inspired hat-trick doing the magic.
Ajax would be counting on the pace and unpredictability offered by their extremely talented young squad while Juventus can count on their experienced squad and of course the services of 'Mr. Champions League'.
Both teams have met in the UCL final before, with Ajax triumphing in the 1973 European Cup showpiece with a 1-0 victory during the glory days of Johan Cruyff, while Juventus exacted their revenge 23 years later when they triumphed 4-2 on penalties to lift the 1996 UCL (which remains their last triumph till date).
Though it might be easy to dismiss this fixture as easy pickings for Juventus owing to their vastly superior firepower, the youth and excitement offered by Ajax as well as their vivacious displays in eliminating Real Madrid means that the Dutch giants would be no pushovers.
However, Juve would be buoyed by their impressive comeback from the dead against Atleti and would use this as extra motivation to go all the way, while Cristiano Ronaldo is bound to continue his impressive record against Ajax against whom he has scored seven goals and assisted two from just five matches.
Verdict - Juventus to go through