Champions League Fixtures 2014: Quarterfinals Schedule and Predictions

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2014

Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, center,  controls the ball  in between players  during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Gabriel Pecot)
Gabriel Pecot/Associated Press

The Champions League quarterfinal stage has arrived, bringing together the cream of European football to determine who will take their place in the last-four of the competition. 

First out of the hat on Friday were Barcelona, who will face fellow La Liga title rivals Atletico Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund side, who were Champions League runners-up last season, face Real Madrid once again, having overcome the Spanish giants last year.

Paris Saint-Germain will square off against recent winners and English league leaders Chelsea. And Manchester United face the might of the best team in the world, as current holders Bayern Munich travel to Old Trafford.

The first-leg ties will be held over April 1-April 2. The second legs will then be played the following week over April 8-April 9.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Here is the last-eight draw in full and a full list of predictions for both legs:

2013-14 Champions League Quarterfinal Draw
Barcelonavs.Atletico MadridApril 1, 2014.April 9, 2014.
Real Madridvs.Borussia DortmundApril 2, 2014.April 8, 2014.
Paris Saint-Germainvs.ChelseaApril 2, 2014.April 8, 2014
Manchester Unitedvs.Bayern MunichApril 1, 2014.April 9, 2014.
2013-14 Champions League Quarterfinals Predictions
FixtureFirst Leg PredictionSecond Leg PredictionAggregate Score
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid2-11-1Barcelona win 3-2
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund3-01-2Real Madrid win 5-1
Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea2-11-0Chelsea win 2-2 on away goals
Manchester United v Bayern Munich2-23-0Bayern Munich win 5-2


Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid
Barcelona vs Atletico

Atletico Madrid might be the new kids on the block when it comes to trying to win the Champions League, but their mighty opponents will not faze them in the quarterfinals.

Lionel Messi and co. will know they face a difficult task as they try to navigate their way through the shark-infested waters to the final.

Barcelona's biggest challenge will be trying to stop Atletico's undisputed goal king. Diego Costa has been in sensational form for the Madrid club this season. He has hit an astonishing 22 goals in 27 La Liga appearances, per Squawka.

His firepower on its own is enough to damage the Catalan club sufficiently and produce the shock of the round. However, Messi does enjoy playing against Atletico, as his goal record shows:

This tie will be a cagey but exciting affair. The first-leg home advantage should pay dividends for Barca and see them take a lead to Madrid for the second match.

With Barcelona then only having to avoid defeat, and using all of their depth of Champions League experience, it will be they who progress to the semifinals, one step closer to becoming Champions of Europe once again.

Prediction: Barcelona win 3-2 on aggregate


Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

A year in football is a long time.

It was less than 12 months ago that Borussia Dortmund put Real Madrid to the sword, destroying them 4-1 in the first leg to aid their progression to the final.

But times have changed.

Jurgen Klopp's team have suffered a multitude of injuries this year and have not produced the same levels of intensity that they did last season.

On the flip-side, Madrid now have Gareth Bale, who they made the costliest footballer in history when signing him from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

Bale has started to settle in Spain now, as his record proves. The Welshman has 10 goals from his 20 La Liga performances, per Squawka, and is starting to display a dangerous understanding with Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The form of the Spanish giants dictates that this might be an experience that Dortmund will not enjoy. 

The first leg was in Germany last season, but this time it is in Madrid.  Ronaldo and his team will make this a mission impossible for Klopp, and their attacking prowess should see the game over as a spectacle early on. 

Prediction: Madrid win 5-1 on aggregate


Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 12:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Bayer Leverkusen at Parc des Princes on March 12, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With the options on offer, Chelsea will be happy to be travelling to Paris in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. 

They will be pleased to have missed out on the danger of the Spanish teams, also avoiding the strength of Bayern Munich, and a tricky domestic tie against Manchester United.

But PSG will be no pushovers, stacked full of glamorous signings look to make their mark. 

Much of the French team's hopes will rest on the shoulders of the mercurial Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker now has 10 goals from his seven Champions League matches, per Squawka, and his scoring prowess could blow Chelsea away.

However, the strength of Jose Mourinho is knowing what to do in these situations, and he has proved this by winning the tournament twice before with unfashionable squads. 

Both legs will be tight encounters as Chelsea look to contain their opponent. In the end, Mourinho's tactical edge will take Chelsea through, with the West London side edging out the Parisian machine on away goals. 

Prediction: Chelsea win on away goals 2-2


Manchester United v Bayern Munich

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 19:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the second goal with his team-mates during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second round match between Manchester United and Olympiacos FC at Old Trafford on Ma
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

No team wanted to run into the German and European champions in this round, but Manchester United have drawn the short straw.

After struggling to knock out Greek side Olympiakos in the previous round, and suffering a domestic season from hell, United will be huge underdogs against this Bayern Munich side.

But the tie gives David Moyes the opportunity to relax and play his game with the expectation and pressure completely off his United side.

Since beating Munich in the 1999 final, United's record against the Bavarian side has been poor:

Toni Kroos will get a taste of the Old Trafford atmosphere he might experience next season, should he join the current English Champions in the summer. 

The German midfield star has played in eight of Munich's Champions League matches this season, per Squawka, scoring a blockbuster at the Emirates against Arsenal. 

United will be without their ineligible record signing Juan Mata, and that alone could be enough to weaken the Red Devils to see them go out. Patrice Evra also misses the first leg through suspension.

The first meeting at Old Trafford will be hugely atmospheric and will see United use the crowd to their advantage to gain a result.

But the second leg will see imperious German class dominate the match, and take Munich through to yet another European semifinal.

Prediction: Bayern Munich win 5-2 on aggregate


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