The Champions League quarter-finals are upon us. Europe's elite clubs have been whittled down to a tasty looking final eight in a round of matches that are sure to thrill from the moment the tournament's famous anthem blasts out.
In preparation for the first whistle, let's take a look at the television and live stream information for each tie, as well as the most interesting stats.
|Team||vs.||Team||First leg||TV Info|
|Barcelona||vs.||Atletico Madrid||April 1, 2014||Sky Sports 1|
|Manchester United||vs.||Bayern Munich||April 1, 2014||ITV|
|Paris Saint-Germain||vs.||Chelsea||April 2, 2014||Sky Sports 1|
|Real Madrid||vs.||Borussia Dortmund||April 2, 2014||Sky Sports 4, Sky 1|
Any match being played live on Sky Sports or Sky One can also be watched via the Sky Go app or website. Manchester United's tie with Bayern Munich is also available to stream both on the ITV Player app or directly from the channel's website. Be sure to check LiveOnSat for international listings and streams.
Top Stats Heading into the Quarter-Finals
The arrival of the Champions League quarter-finals, combined with the internet age, means we are never too far away from an intriguing array of stats. First up, Barcelona host Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid in a clash of La Liga's top two, while United face a terrifying task to stop the Bayern behemoth rolling at Old Trafford.
Let's stick with the Red Devils' task first. Both teams are famed for their attacking prowess—despite United's recent fall from grace—but both have been consistently thwarted by the woodwork, as tweeted by WhoScored.com:
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich: Only Bayern Munich (8) have hit the woodwork more times in the CL this season than Man Utd (5) #UCL— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 1, 2014
Bayern's affinity for creating chances may have something to do with their love for the post and crossbar, as noted by OptaJean:
37 - Bayern Munich have had 37 more shots on target than Manchester Utd in the Champions League this season. Gap.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 1, 2014
Football 365 and Sky Sports contributor Daniel Storey compared the two teams' recent run of results; ominous reading if you're a United fan:
Manchester United's Last 18 matches: LLLWLWWLDDWLWLWWLW Bayern's last 18 matches: WWWWWWWWWWWWWDWWWD— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 1, 2014
Atletico will need to ensure Barcelona don't rack up the goals during their first-leg meet at the Camp Nou. OptaJose highlights why Diego Simeone's men are best prepared to take on Lionel Messi and friends:
4 – Atletico and Chelsea have conceded the joint-fewest goals in the Champions League this term. Answer— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 1, 2014
OptaJean added to the suggestion Atletico are in with a real shot across two legs, highlighting their previous heroics against La Blaugrana:
3 - The three encounters between Barcelona & Atletico Madrid this season have all been drawn and have only produced two goals. Tight.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 1, 2014
Incredibly, continuous record-breaker Messi just needs one goal to reach 350 for Barca, reported by MESSISTATS:
350 ― Messi is 1 goal away from his 350th competitive goal for Barcelona (now 349 in 415 games)— MESSISTATS (@MessiStats) March 31, 2014
Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea enjoyed a Twitter back-and-forth in the build-up to their Parc des Princes clash, with both official accounts trying to outdo the other:
Borussia Dortmund must halt the might of Cristiano Ronaldo before they can think about heading into the semi-finals. The Portuguese star has scored 13 goals in seven Champions League games this season, two more than Dortmund managed in six group stage matches and more than double Robert Lewandowski's club high of six, as reported by WhoScored.
It's stats like these that can make a huge difference to the mentality of each team at this stage of the campaign. Individuals such as Ronaldo and Messi are expected to lead at all times, but if their opponents can shut them out, it's a massive step toward a memorable upset.
A plethora of new stats will be thrown up after the quarter-final first legs. Will United break the record for crosses into the Bayern box, or will they concede 94 percent possession? Will Messi or Ronaldo break the next record in this year's tournament? Best tune in to find out.