Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 22, 2024
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JOHNNY VULKAN / CC BY 2.0

The UCL quarter-finals draw yielded some of the most interesting line-ups so far this season.

The UEFA Champions League (UCL) season is now in the quarter-final stage. Check out the matches, as composed by the official draw:

Arsenal FC vs. FC Bayern Munich

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

Paris Saint-Germain vs. FC Barcelona

Atlético de Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund

Personally, I think this is one of the best combinations we could have possibly had, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how this will roll out. Read up on some of my predictions below!

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

Arsenal and Bayern Munich have gone head-to-head twelve times in the UCL; the latter has earned seven wins, while the Gunners have three wins. Although the last edition of this matchup ended in a Bayern sweep, it would be a mistake to underestimate Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. They are a very young team — one of the youngest in the Premier League with an average age of 25 — which may prove an interesting challenge for Bayern Munich. It’s important to highlight that Arsenal has had an amazing drive this season and their silverware ambitions are helped by the fact that their team is equal parts talented and in-form. Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Martin Ødegaard will be a difficult set to contain for the Bavarians.

At the same time, Arsenal could experience some fatigue from fighting for the Premier League title. Bayern Munich could capitalize on that exhaustion, as they channel their energy toward European glory in the hopes of walking away from this season with at least one title. Nonetheless, the Bavarians have not been in their usual form this season and the perceived disunity with head coach Thomas Tuchel could create a deadly combination. The team appears to be lacking synergy and has not shown convincing performances recently.

Prediction: I’ll place my bet on the (statistical) underdog and say that Arsenal will advance to the next round. 

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

This line-up will pit some of the hottest talent in modern-day football against each other, as well as two of the best coaches in recent history. On one side, we have Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, while Real Madrid will roll out Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes. 

Los Blancos have the benefit of 14 successful UCL campaigns on their record, and they’re also sitting clear on top of La Liga. Manchester City, on the other hand, is facing a grueling campaign for the Premier League title that could divert from their European run. However, it’s always dangerous to bet against Pep Guardiola.

Prediction: I think this match-up is too close to call, but whoever takes it will do so by a margin of one goal or through penalties. 

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona

I’m always excited about the possibility of the Catalans facing the Parisians; as someone who watched the famous La Remontada game live, I don’t know what to expect from this arrangement. 

Barcelona is not at its best: Injury woes have thinned out the squad and turmoil surrounding coach Xavi Hernández’s impending departure has impeded the team’s performance. At the same time, Robert Lewandowski put together a great performance against Napoli in the last round of the competition, courtesy of some of the brightest rising stars in soccer today. In my opinion, however, the Blaugrana should learn from Pedro González López’s and Pablo Gavira’s injuries this year to break their pattern of over-relying on young talent.

On the other hand, Paris Saint-Germain will be chasing their elusive first UCL title with frontman Kylian Mbappé set to be the star of the show. As the Frenchman prepares for a summer move to Real Madrid, he has been hitting incredible form as one of the top goal-scorers in the competition. This match will be a dress rehearsal for his future at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and everyone will have their eyes on how he will fare against Barcelona’s high defensive line.

Prediction: This will be a close matchup, but I’ll give a slight winning margin to Barcelona on this as they’re expected to receive some key reinforcements in the next week.

Atlético de Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund 

A slight underdog battle, Atlético vs. Dortmund promises to be riveting: Both sides will give their all to go as far as they can in the competition. This high-stakes mentality is not at all a novelty for either side. To start with, Borussia Dortmund has a strong offensive line that could be instrumental in breaking through the Colchoneros’ defense, especially when we consider their ability to mount quick counterattacks. Nevertheless, the other side has Diego Simeone leading them to battle, a legendary coach known for his physical, relentless style of play. Adding the dependable work of Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata, my perspective becomes a little more skewed toward calling a win for the Spanish side.

Prediction: I believe Atlético will walk away with the win, simply due to their capacity to withstand 90 or more minutes of intense, aggressive play while still exploiting their opponent’s weakness. 


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