UCL Preview: Barcelona put title hopes up against tough Atletico, Man Utd look to avoid elimination in Munich

Neymar of Barcelona evades the challenge of Koke of Atletico Madrid

By FRANCO PANIZO

Barcelona admittedly struggle to create scoring chances against Atletico Madrid’s tough and stingy defense, but they will need to find a way to do just that in order to secure advancement in the UEFA Champions League.

The two Spanish clubs are eyeing a place in the semifinals of the tournament, but only one will make it after they play the decisive leg of their quarterfinals series at Vicente Calderon on Wednesday. Atletico have the upperhand in this one after picking up an away goal in a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou last week.

Barcelona have to get on the scoreboard in order to avoid elimination, but that could play right into the hands of Atletico manager Diego Simeone. With Barcelona in need of finding a goal, Atletico should have space in behind that they can try and exploit.

The two teams have played four times this season and every game has ended with a 1-1 scoreline. If that were the case again, the second leg would head into extratime. Atletico, however, want to get the job done before that so that they can move onto the final four of Europe’s top competition for the first time since 1974.

In Wednesday’s other quarterfinals match, Manchester United will try and keep their dreams of salvaging a lost season in the Premiership alive when they take go on the road to take on reigning champions Bayern Munich.

The two European powerhouses played to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, which means United have to find a goal in order to prevent exiting the tournament. That is in part why David Moyes is likely to count on recovering striker Wayne Rooney, who some feel may be rushing back from a toe injury to play in this game at Allianz Arena.

Munich are the favorites going into this one, but they have had a bit of a slip as of late after winning the Bundesliga title in record time. Making matters worse for FC Hollywood is that they will be missing several players for this one; Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez are suspended after picking up yellow cards in the first leg and Xherdan Shaqiri, Diego Contento, Tom Starke, Thiago Alcantara, Lukas Raeder and Holger Badstuber are nursing knocks.

The German club is known to be deep, but they will need several role players to step up vs. the Red Devils in order to avoid a dismal fate in front of their demanding home supporters.

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Do you see Atletico beating and eliminating Barcelona? What are the chances Man Utd knock off Bayern Munich in Germany? Which of these four is the most likely team to win it all?

Share your thoughts below.

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5 Responses to UCL Preview: Barcelona put title hopes up against tough Atletico, Man Utd look to avoid elimination in Munich

  1. arsenal says:

    I don’t think Munich are struggling. They stared a bunch of 18 year olds. Of course they’re going to struggle with a lineup like that while facing teams that are full strength and fighting for spots in the table.

  2. Jack Del says:

    Munich struggled because they started a youth team lol

    • Increase0 says:

      And some old dudes like Pizzaro(35). You can’t read to much into the Ausburg game.
      Now if you want to be critical of the Manu game go for it. Muller playing center forward vs two big bodies like that was never gunna work well.

  3. biff says:

    Struggling is an accurate assessment of Bayern during the past week, and no excuse to get whipped by Augsburg even with three reserve kids who no doubt are probably good enough to play for their national teams in the line-up, which also had plenty of quality.

    As for today’s game, maybe the rest did Robben and Ribery and Lahm good and Bayern will bounce back and be the invincible Bayern and wallop Man U. But Bayern and Pep seem especially edgy ahead of this game, getting knocked out in the quarter-final, and Man U has nothing to lose, sort of the way Dortmund went into yesterday’s game. Plus, Bayern does not handle pressure well at all because they almost never have to deal with it in the Bundesliga and if Man U scores first, we could see Bayern’s big dreams quickly unravel and see the Bayern boys sprawled on the field after the game crying.