Only eight teams remain in Europe’s premier club competition. Who is in the best position to advance to the semifinals?
The UEFA Champions League is down to its final eight in the knockout stage, and there are a couple surprises in the quarterfinal pairings. Two pairs of perennial contenders are matched against one another far earlier than usual. There are also several surprise clubs that slipped into the quarterfinals.
What we find looking at each team’s record throughout the competition is a clear break into three categories. This table offers a visual representation of those divides:
Highlighted in red are the two defensive stalwarts of the tournament, Juventus and Atlético Madrid. Though they average less than two goals per match, they have won the highest percentage of matches to this point of the competition (considering the standard points system of three for a win and one for a draw).
In green are the four clubs that have lit up the scoreboard and blasted their competition off the pitch with offensive firepower. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Borussia Dortmund all average at least three goals per match.They have all paired offense with a possession game that fuels the defense. Real Madrid has followed a similar if slightly divergent script, outscoring opponents by 1.5 goals per match en route to the quarters.
That last group in yellow are the clubs that nobody expected to remain in the competition at this point. Monaco turned around a 5-3 deficit against Manchester City to knock them out of the tournament. That means Leicester City is the last English club in the competition after knocking Sevilla out of the Champions League on their own reversal. Both clubs give up almost as many goals as they allow and have benefitted from plenty of luck.
With all that in mind, click forward to read more detailed previews and predictions for each of the individual quarterfinal pairings.