UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal Draw Results and Predictions

Shane EvansContributor IMarch 19, 2021

The trophy these eight remaining clubs are fighting for.
The trophy these eight remaining clubs are fighting for.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinal draw Friday provided four fantastic matchups that create a ton of great stories and intrigue ahead of the first legs on April 6-7.

The big questions that come to mind immediately: Does the favorite Manchester City have what it takes to get past an Erling Haaland-led Borussia Dortmund and then face Bayern Munich and Robert Lewandowski or Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe? Can Real Madrid or Liverpool recapture the magic of past European successes to get to the final from the arguably weaker side of the draw? Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea have only allowed two goals since the German took charge in late January; could they ride their defense to the final?

Let's dive deeper into the matchups one-by-one and predict the outcomes. Now would be a good time to put the Champions League theme song on loop.


Quarterfinal 1: Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund

Will Manchester City be able to stop this man?
Will Manchester City be able to stop this man?Bernd Thissen/Associated Press

First Leg: April 6

Second Leg: April 14

Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 3

Going into the draw, the two clear favorites were Manchester City and Bayern Munich. Undoubtedly the most in-form teams remaining in the competition, neither looked in any trouble in the round of 16.

Manchester City easily dispatched Borussia Monchengladbach with a 4-0 aggregate win courtesy of a pair of 2-0 victories. They are 14 points clear in the Premier League, and their only loss in 32 games across all competitions was against Manchester United on March 7. The squad is deep, the coaching is excellent, the path forward is clear.

Of all City's successes over the past decade—and there's been a lotthe hurdle they have not been able to overcome is the Champions League. And now they have to face the leading scorer in the tournament, Haaland, and a very tricky Dortmund side.

An attacking threat when in the mood, Dortmund should not be overlooked despite the mouth-watering City vs. Bayern/PSG semifinal tie possibly ahead. Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and more, along with Haaland, could cause problems for Pep's near-impenetrable back line with their creative movement and counterattacking prowess.

It won't be enough though, as City is a machine. The first leg will be close, but quality will win out as the blue side of Manchester pushes forward to the semifinal stage for the first time under the Spaniard.

Prediction: Manchester City


Quarterfinal 2: Porto vs. Chelsea

Tuchel has Chelsea back on track since taking over in January.
Tuchel has Chelsea back on track since taking over in January.Dave Thompson/Associated Press

First Leg: April 7

Second Leg: April 13

Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 4

This is the least sexy of the four ties but one that could give be among the more interesting. Chelsea have been so sound under Thomas Tuchel since he took over for Frank Lampard that you have to put them in the discussion for making a run to the final.

Porto provided us with the shock of the tournament with a thrilling victory over Juventus in the round of 16. Showing strength, resilience and determination, the Portuguese side went blow-for-blow with the Italian champions and outlasted them in a chaotic second leg in Turin.

At the center of it all is the 38-year-old brick wall known as Pepe. The former Real Madrid star has entered his twilight playing years leading the club he broke out with in the mid-2000s. He was immense against Juve and will relish another test with the ball-dominant style of the Blues. With Sergio Oliveira and Mehdi Taremi providing the goals, they will be a tricky ask for the London side.

Having said that, Tuchel has Chelsea powering ahead with confidence, and if the trio of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech can keep building momentum, it's hard to go with anyone but the Premier League side here.

Prediction: Chelsea


Quarterfinal 3: Bayern Munich vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Do not sleep on this man coming up huge against PSG.
Do not sleep on this man coming up huge against PSG.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

First Leg: April 7

Second Leg: April 13

Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 1

Lewandowski. Mbappe. Neuer. Neymar. Sane. Di Maria. The list goes on.

This is the tie with more stars than the ball. Everywhere you look, there's quality.

PSG has been lackluster lately, with two defeats in their past four matches. Bayern, on the other hand, has been great. While not quite running away with the Bundesliga title as they have in years gone by, the holders have been scoring for fun. In their past five matches, including the round-of-16 tie against Lazio, Hansi Flick's men have tallied an impressive 18 goals, with Lewandowski seemingly hell-bent on being on the scoresheet as much as possible.

The duo of Neymar and Mbappe will want to avenge the narrow 1-0 loss to the German giants in last season's final, but it's questionable whether they will be able to contend with the offensive juggernaut that Bayern rolls out on a regular basis to keep it competitive going into the second leg. Eyes will be on the influence of Marco Verratti in the middle of the park to disrupt the flow of Bayern going forward, much like he did against Barca in the round of 16.

Ultimately, Bayern's organization and consistency will outlast the mercurial style of Les Parisiens and the hunt for a first non-Real Madrid repeat champion since AC Milan in the late '80s.

Prediction: Bayern Munich


Quarterfinal 4: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool

The return of Sergio Ramos will provide a massive boost to Madrid's UCL chances.
The return of Sergio Ramos will provide a massive boost to Madrid's UCL chances.Bernat Armangue/Associated Press/Associated Press

First Leg: April 6

Second Leg: April 14

Semifinal Opponent: Winner of Quarterfinal 2

And finally, a gift from the football gods. Two historical giants with long track records of success in top European competition, Real Madrid and Liverpool, will do battle in a rematch of the 2018 final in Kyiv.

It's not news that Liverpool have been a mess this season as it attempted to defend the Premier League crown. Well and truly out of the race with a quarter of the season remaining, the Reds have been searching for answers that just haven't been there. Losers of six of their past 10 matches, Jurgen Klopp and Co. are languishing in sixth place in the EPL (25 points off the top). They have not been themselves and will hardly relish the task set before them with this draw. Keeping Mohamed Salah firing (he's scored in each of his past three UCL matches) will be vital.

For Real, resurgent form has mostly kept it in the mix for the La Liga crown (though major slips from Atletico Madrid have helped). Its primary focus should be delivering another painful blow to Liverpool in the quarterfinals, even with a domestic title still within reach. Injuries and inconsistent forward play have troubled Zinedine Zidane's latest tenure, but with Sergio Ramos back in the middle of defense (and scoring), Madrid should fancy themselves against whatever it is that Liverpool has become this campaign.

We get Klopp vs. Zidane. Salah vs. Ramos. Benzema vs. whoever can play center back for Liverpool. It will be the most open of all the quarterfinals and definitely the most unmissable. With the Reds' home form yielding just one win, a neutral-location victory over RB Leipzig, since mid-January, their chances of preventing a vital away goal don't look great. Rising to the massive occasion, at Anfield and in Madrid, Los Blancos will come out on top.

Prediction: Real Madrid

Shane Evans manages B/R Football content within the Bleacher Report App. For more, follow him on Twitter at @shanevans.


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