The UEFA Champions League has reached crunch time, with the eight remaining clubs all aware of their routes to glory.
But while each merits their place in the quarter-finals and each will hold their own aspirations of winning, the odds are stacked in the favour of some and significantly against others.
It may be the time of the season when ties can turn on tiny details, but injuries, form and quality play the greatest role in determining who will emerge on top.
UEFA Champions League Power Ranking
Here is the power ranking of the final eight clubs.
Porto are undoubtedly the underdogs in the last eight, though their victory against Juventus in the previous round shows that they should not be underestimated. They qualified through a relatively easy group that contained Olympiacos and Marseille as well as Manchester City, with their strength in their defence. However, they have shown domestically that they do not always have the instinct to win matches.
Four draws in their last nine matches have allowed Sporting CP to go clear at the top of the table and they must seek to close that gap while negotiating their tie against Chelsea.
Sergio Conceicao is a clever coach, but it would be one of his greatest achievements yet if he were to upset the Blues – and the thought of them going on to lift the Champions League title is a very distant one.
#7 Borussia Dortmund
While it would be unfair to class Borussia Dortmund as a club in a state of turmoil, there are very real problems in the squad. The hype surrounding star forwards Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho has gone some distance in distracting fans from just how wretched a season they have endured.
Indeed, Saturday’s 2-1 loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt leaves them facing a massive uphill battle to qualify for the Champions League next season via the Bundesliga. Meanwhile, speculation over Haaland’s future continues to cloud their performances.
Dortmund have won just one of their last five matches, and while the combination of Haaland and Sancho gives them an X-factor that means they cannot easily be written off, Manchester City are strong favourites to end their UEFA Champions League hopes in the quarter-finals.
#6 Paris Saint-Germain
Although PSG were UEFA Champions League finalists last season, they face a stern challenge to better that achievement in 2020/21. Firstly, if they are to reach that stage, they are probably going to have to overcome Bayern Munich and Manchester City – the two best sides in Europe on current form.
Secondly, PSG are nursing some key selection issues for the first leg of their quarter-final in Germany, missing midfield tempo-makers Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes as well as right-back Alessandro Florenzi.
Thirdly, PSG are just not playing that well. They are second in Ligue 1 after a loss to Lille and while they would sacrifice their domestic title for UEFA Champions League glory, they cannot afford to miss out on both. The pressure is on Mauricio Pochettino, who has not had the immediate influence in Paris that they might have hoped for.