The first four Uefa Champions League quarter-finalists will be decided this week, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus and Lionel Messi’s Barcelona both on the back foot.
World football’s golden pair may yet joust again in the latter stages of this season’s UCL, but they’ll have to do it the hard way after both their sides fell to first leg defeats three weeks ago.
Barcelona play Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night needing to overturn a three-goal deficit after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick put Messi’s early penalty in the shade at the Camp Nou.
The French champions came away from Catalonia with a 4-1 victory that puts them in the driving seat to bring much-craved European glory to the Parc des Princes.
Ronaldo had a quiet night in his home country as FC Porto flew out of the blocks to score early in both halves at the Estadio do Dragao, setting them up for a 2-1 first leg success.
Juventus hit back through Federico Chiesa late on, giving them a potentially crucial away goal to take back to Turin for Tuesday night’s clash at the Allianz Stadium.
Erling Braut Haaland further staked his claim as the hottest prospect in European football when he scored twice to propel Borussia Dortmund to a 3-2 first leg win away to Sevilla.
The La Liga club face a tough ask in overturning the deficit at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday, although Luuk de Jong’s late free kick has kept them in the tie.
English Premier League champions Liverpool are enduring a nightmare title defence and are struggling to qualify for next season’s Champions League competition.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both scored to seal a 2-0 first leg victory over RB Leipzig, though, with old master Jurgen Klopp keeping young pretender Julien Nagelsmann at arm’s length.
Covid-19 restrictions mean the second leg, like the first, will be played in Hungary on neutral turf at the Puskas Arena in Budapest.
Uefa Champions League predictions for 9-10 March
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
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