The Champions League returns this week with a stacked round of quarter-final fixtures.
Teams head into these fixtures knowing they’re just four positive results away from the final in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and this is when the competition really begins to heat up.
Here, we preview to two titanic clashes to be played out on Tuesday evening, including an all-Premier League affair and a chance for revenge one year on in the other quarter-final.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
Spurs head into their match against the reigning Premier League champions in an awful run of form having won just one on of their last six matches in the English top flight.
This has seen their title challenge come to an abrupt halt and they’re now in the battle for a top-four finish, something that is far from guaranteed. Winning the Champions League offers them the opportunity to return to play in Europe’s elite club competition.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men haven’t beaten Pep Guardiola’s side since 2016 and lost the fixture between the two sides in October 1-0, with Riyad Mahrez netting what turned out to be the winner after just six minutes.
However, the form book goes out of the window in these ties and league positions count for very little. City crumbled at this stage of the competition last season away to Premier League opponents.
While the Citizens appear to be a different beast this season, they have shown that they’re mortal on a number of occasions. A packed out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could give the home side that extra boost they need on the night. And Pochettino was the man to end Guardiola’s unbeaten start to life in the Premier League so the former Espanyol coach does have it in him to beat the best.
City head into this fixture having secured their place in the FA Cup final on Saturday to keep alive their dreams of an unprecedented quadruple.
Gabriel Jesus’ early strike was enough to see off the Seagulls and City have now won 14 consecutive matches in all competitions – their best run of form this season – and it’s come at the most important time.
But that remarkable run of form will count for very little if Guardiola doesn’t get the next two weeks spot on. City face tricky ties against Spurs, on three occasions, Crystal Palace and Manchester United. Come through all of that unscathed and the Catalan coach would’ve earned his salary.
Liverpool vs Porto
These two sides met in the last-16 of the Champions League last season and only then did people really sit up and take notice of this Reds side. Jurgen Klopp’s men had thrashed Maribor and Spartak Moscow in the group stages but results like that happen.
Teams don’t go to the Estadio do Dragao and annihilate their hosts. But Liverpool did just that.
Sadio Mane fired in a hattrick, Mohamed Salah’s scored an outrageous goal and Roberto Firmino got in on the act as a rampant Reds side won in their first European outing since Philippe Coutinho left the club.
Liverpool head into the game on a 14-match unbeaten streak and have won five on the bounce for the third time this season, including that assured victory over Bayern Munich in Bavaria.
The Reds sit top of the Premier League table after coming from behind to beat Southampton on Friday night with Salah finally netting his 50th Premier League goal for the club after a run of eight matches without one.
Their visitors are also top of their respective league, along with Benfica, after a 2-0 victory over Boavista on Friday night. Since defeat to Roma in the first leg of the round of 16, the Dragons have won eight of 10 in all competitions.
They too head into this in exceptional form and will be looking to exact revenge on Liverpool for last season’s result. Tiquinho, who scored on Friday, will be the one to match for the away side. He has four goals and an assist in his last five starts in all competitions and has 16 goals for the season – his most productive campaign ever.
FansBet are committed to giving 50 per cent of their net profits back to fans. To find out more about how they do it, click here!
And is that is not enough check out our Fan Boosts here. The best odds and an unrivalled range of special bets!
FansBet, by Fans, for Fans.
*odds subject to change.