Champions League quarter-finals: previews for the ties Today - Sabi Tips


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Champions League quarter-finals: previews for the ties Today

In a repeat of the 2015 final, Juventus will be hoping to exact revenge on a Barcelona side that lost at Málaga at the weekend. Their 2-0 defeat was the latest in a long line of underwhelming results away from home Barcelona, who haven’t won more than two games in a row on the road since September. Their most memorable disappointment, of course, came in Paris before they completed a remarkable comeback to reach this stage.

The Old Lady have a formidable record at home, where they have not lost all season. Nevertheless, Massimiliano Allegri’s team have struggled to transfer their dominance in Serie A to the Champions League, with both Sevilla and Lyon able to steal a point in Turin. Their European games have generally been tight, low-scoring affairs. Barcelona have scored 25 goals in their Champions Leaguematches this season, almost twice as many as their hosts (14), though Juventus have the tightest defence in the competition, having conceded just two goals in their eight games so far.

What’s more, the Serie A champions come into the game with a clean bill of health, while André Gomes – who has underwhelmed since a move to Camp Nou – is likely to come in for the suspended Sergio Busquets for Barcelona. That could afford Paulo Dybala the sort of space in which he thrives, with 12 of his 14 goals this season coming at home. Dani Alves will also be keen to impress against his former club.

Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, 

Fresh from a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker at the weekend, Thomas Tuchel will need to restore confidence quickly before the visit of this freescoring Monaco team. Tuchel will be glad his team are back at the Westfalenstadion, where they have enjoyed great success so far this season. Dortmund have won 13 and lost none of their 17 home matches in the Bundesliga and Champions League, including a 4-0 rout over Benfica in the previous round. Dortmund can match Barcelona’s tally of 25 goals in the Champions League but, not to be outdone, Monaco have scored 88 goals in 31 Ligue 1 matches, making them the most prolific team in Europe’s big leagues. Let’s hope the two teams continue their exciting form in this quarter-final.

Marco Reus is the biggest loss for the home side through injury, though they could also be without the Shinji Kagawa and André Schürrle, as well as Mario Götze. Monaco will be without Djibril Sidibé through illness, while Tiemoué Bakayoko, who scored the goal that knocked Manchester City out of the competition, is suspended. Whether it be the experienced Andrea Raggi or the youthful Almamy Touré who fills in for Sidibé at right-back, the battle with Ousmane Dembélé – who has five assists in the Champions League this season – on that flank may well be key. The teenager has provided seven assists for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Bundesliga this year, which makes them the most lethal combination in Europe’s top leagues this season.

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