Champions League Quarterfinals: 10 Bold Predictions for the Second Leg
The first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal has come and gone, leaving us with some interesting thoughts going into the second leg.
Going forward, it looks like Real Madrid, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all certain to go through. The tie between Barcelona and AC Milan leaves their advancement uncertain as of this point.
APOEL, Benfica and Marseille won't be giving up easily, so there may be some entertainment still left in those games.
Here are a couple of bold predictions for the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.
Cristiano Ronaldo Will Equal Lionel Messi's One-Game Five-Goal Haul
After taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the tie, Real Madrid should really go through. The final tally in the aggregate score depends upon what mindset APOEL brings to the Bernabeu.
It is unlikely that they will try to attack Madrid, but if that were to happen, a dominant Real Madrid win should be expected. Cristiano Ronaldo, as always, will be the one spearheading the Real Madrid scoring.
If things go extremely well, he could see himself accomplishing what Lionel Messi and other greats haven't; scoring five goals in a Champions League quarterfinal tie.
APOEL Will Score an Away Goal
On the flipside of that, APOEL could surprise Real Madrid, and maybe give them a scare. While they have given up hope of progressing, it doesn't mean that APOEL will lie down.
With things beginning to get a little tight in La Liga again, Madrid could have an eye on its weekend game against Valencia. They certainly have their hands full with an away game to Osasuna tomorrow.
Fernando Torres Will Score Against Benfica
We can't say for sure how he will score but Fernando Torres may end up putting the ball in the net against Benfica.
Torres created the all-important away goal in Portugal on Tuesday and he could finish the job at home himself. Maybe scoring in a fixture like that will provide Torres with an even bigger spark and an eventual return to his goalscoring form.
Chelsea Will Keep a Clean Sheet
In nine Champions League games so far, Chelsea has kept a clean sheet in four. Three of those have been at home and the last came against Benfica this week.
Benfica has talents such as Alex Witsel, Nicolas Gaitan and Oscar Cardozo, but they will be unable to breach the Chelsea defense as they will show their strength at Stamford Bridge.
They did score four goals in two games against Zenit St. Petersburg, two of them in Russia, but Chelsea is a different prospect all together.
Bayern Munich vs. Marseille Will Be a Stalemate
It may be 0-0 or it may be 1-1. We'll go with 1-1, but Bayern Munich will do enough to keep Marseille at bay.
Munich will show that German efficiency and Marseille will ultimately be unable to make the important breakthrough.
They may score one goal to give Munich a scare but if they end up scoring one it is likely that Bayern Munich will score at least one too.
Andre Ayew Will Put on a Good Audition for Bayern Munich
After saying that it would be a 'dream' to sign for the Bayern Munich, you can expect Marseille's Andre Ayew to put in a really good performance next week.
Whether his team loses or not, Ayew has been a pivotal contributor to Marseille and could play an important role against the German club. It may be even more important if his desire to play for the club is as he says it is.
Lionel Messi Will Score a Hat-Trick
Every time the critics or media begin to doubt the Barcelona juggernaut, they turn in a performance that shows they are not done yet.
Lionel Messi is usually at the forefront of those performances, and you can imagine how he and the team will be raring to go for the second leg. Barcelona does have a tough and important game against Athletic Bilbao this weekend, but they will be ready for AC Milan.
Messi, most of all, will be ready to light things up.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Will Get Red-Carded
Things would have to be going badly for this to happen and that is always a possibility for teams facing Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
If Zlatan Ibrahimovic finds himself on the losing end in his old stomping grounds and with Pep Guardiola looking on the sidelines, he may just lose himself and effectively cost his team the tie.
His poor judgement has gotten better through the years, but he still shows bits of it in moments like this.
Barcelona Will Face Chelsea in the Semifinals
The last time these two met, Andres Iniesta was scoring that goal to send Barcelona and set them up for an eventual Champions League final victory over Manchester United.
Both teams still have some work to do before they can get into the next round. Barcelona has to make sure AC Milan doesn't score an away goal, all the while trying to win the game themselves.
Chelsea is in control of their tie but there is still the danger of Benfica scoring away goals. Both teams will put in exemplary performances to ensure progression.
There Will Be Controversy in the Barcelona vs. AC Milan Game
Whatever the final outcome, one can expect some controversy in this game. The complaints will most likely come from the losing side and, of course, there will be a good amount of uproar if Barcelona are the benefactors of said controversy.
The games between these teams have been tight during this campaign and things may reach a boiling point next week. It will be down to the officials to make sure things don't get out of hand and that they make the right decision.