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Chelsea vs. Manchester United
The must-see tie of the quarterfinals is a replay of the 2008 Champions League final. For some reason, critics argue that Manchester United aren’t very convincing, neither domestically nor abroad.
Yet, Manchester United are still doing well in all three major competitions (League, Cup and CL) whereas Chelsea imploded around mid-season only to recover in recent weeks.
Chelsea’s most convincing signing of the season, David Luiz, arrived in a deadline deal in January and is cup tied.
Fernando Torres, on the other hand, is not—but he has yet to regain his confidence, and where else if not against his preferred victim, Nemanja Vidic?
This will be a very close contest between two sides who know each other inside out. Much will depend on whether El Nino can find his scoring boots again.
Nevertheless, in his current form, pinning their hopes on Fernando Torres could prove costly for Chelsea.
Winner: Manchester United
FC Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Barca have to face off against their perceived, and to a certain degree justified bogey-team in Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Ukrainian side are the current runaway leaders in their domestic league, while FC Barcelona protect a valuable five-point lead in their own.
However, this is the UEFA Champions League, where all bets are off. Anything can, and in the past, has happened between these two sides.
The Ukrainians are no pushovers and Barca have yet to record an away victory in the knockout stages of the competition under Pep Guardiola.
Spectators can expect Shakhtar Donetsk to park a Boeing 747 in the Camp Nou as well as in the Ukraine.
Although I’m not used to watching a landing strip for over 180 minutes, I think I’ll make an exception this time around. If a side possesses the quality to dismantle a Boeing 747, it is FC Barcelona.
Winner: FC Barcelona