Good Morning Fear the Wall
The UEFA Champions League draw took place this morning, and it certainly delivered! We’ve got some very tasty ties on our hands in both the quarter finals and potentially in the semi finals too. The biggest quarter final of the lot looks to be Manchester City vs Bayern Munich, which not only pits two of the best teams in Europe against each other, but also matches Pep Guardiola against his former employer. Should be plenty of fun!
This season the draw for the quarters and semis is pretty lopsided. We’ve got Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man City, and Bayern Munich all on one side, while the other side of the draw features some teams that have either never been here before or haven’t been here for a while now.
Here’s how FiveThirtyEight sees it:
I’d love to see Napoli (or Benfica, perhaps) get to the final, at the very least. Since the biggest hitters are all on one side of the draw, we will have a higher-than-usual probability of seeing a relative outsider win it all.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen have been drawn against Union Saint-Gilloise, the Belgian side that knocked out Union Berlin in the previous round, in the Europa League quarter final. This won’t be an easy out for Leverkusen, but it’s certainly one of the better draws they could have hoped for. Manchester United are definitely the favourites to win the Europa League trophy now, and with teams like Juventus and Sporting Lisbon still in the tournament too, it’s going to be a tough task for Die Werkself.
- BVB are hoping to resolve Marco Reus’s future before April. It looks like a one-year extension with a €6m salary.
- Sebastien Haller has been called up to the Ivory Coast squad for their two AFCON qualification matches against Comoros. BVB are not that keen for Haller to leave for international duty, and would rather him focus on him rebuilding his fitness, but they also understand how important returning to play for his country is it was to him.
The Daily Buzz
Who do you think will reach the final of the Champions League? And who is your pick to win it all?