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Champions League Preview: Tuesday's Fascinating First-Leg Quarterfinal Ties

Champions League Preview: Tuesday's Fascinating First-Leg Quarterfinal Ties
Kevin Dowling
By Kevin Dowling
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The Champions League is back tonight. Two very interesting fixtures will kick off the quarterfinal stage. Here is everything you need to know about Tuesday's Champions League fixtures.

There's only eight teams left in the competition: tonight's games will see Manchester City face Bayern in a title favourites tie. Benfica is the real outsider coming in to these quarter finals and they've been drawn against Inter Milan.

Manchester City v Bayern Munich (Etihad Stadium, 8pm kickoff time)

Manchester City

Place in domestic league: 2nd

Last three results: W W W

Pep Guardiola's side will welcome Bayern Munich to Manchester with a lot of confidence. Manchester City have won their last eight games in all competitions and are unbeaten in there last twelve matches. They are currently in a very tight title race against Arsenal in the Premier League. Sitting second only six points behind Mikel Arteta's team, Manchester City can close the gap to three points if they win their game in hand.

In the Champions League everything is going perfectly well. They qualified to the quarter finals after hammering German side RB Leipzig 7-0 in the second leg (8-1 aggregate score). Star striker Erling Haaland scored five goals in 35 minutes after being subbed off at the 63rd minute. There's no doubt that the Norwegian striker will be a key asset for them against Bayern Munich if he's fit to play.


Pep Guardiola has praised Bayern Munich's coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of this tie:

He’s so creative, good build-up and connections, good runners, attack good in the space. Went to Paris and did really well, not just winning the league but he got to the final of UCL, the way they played was good and Chelsea he did a good job.

He also mentioned that the Champions League has nothing to do with their domestic league and cups:


This competition isn’t about how good your form is in Premier League or FA Cup, this competition is to be good but you need to be there for 95 min

On the injury side, Phil Foden is set to miss the first leg at home due to an injury sustained against Italy during the international break.

Bayern Munich

Place in domestic league: 1st

Last three results: W W L

The Bavarian team will head into this game after regaining the lead in the Bundesliga. Despite getting knocked out by Freiburg in the German Cup, they've beat them this weekend in the league to remain two points ahead of Dortmund. Bayern also beat Dortmund last week 4-2 win.


In the round of 16 of the Champions League, Bayern Munich knocked out PSG comfortably.

Club manager Thomas Tuchel is highly excited for this quarter finals tie and knows they wil have to be at their best to qualify:

I'm obviously highly motivated. You don't get the chance to play in the quarter-finals of the Champions League all that often, I'm fully aware of that. I need to give my absolute best and that's enough motivation.


He also complimented Pep Guardiola:

Pep's teams always have his own unique style. We will try to find ways of competing both with and without the ball. We need a complete performance.

Tuchel famously beat Pep's Man City in the 2021 Champions League final. Fitnesswise, Eric Choupo Moting picked up an injury against Freiburg and won't be available. Young players Paul Wanner, Mathys Tel and Arijon Ibrahimovic will all miss the first leg. Besides them Lucas Hernandez and Manuel Neuer still remain unfit.


Benfica v Inter Milan (Estadio da Luz, kickoff at 8pm)


Place in domestic league: 1st

Last three results: L W W

Benfica are cruising away at the top of the Portuguese league. They currently have a seven point lead over second placed and their biggest rivals Porto. Their form in their domestic league is absolutely incredible. They've only lost two out of their 26 games (23-2-1) including last game against Porto.

In the Champions League, they topped their group leaving PSG and Juventus behind team. In the round of 16, they were given little chance whatsoever to Bruges. Roger Schmidt's side won 2-0 away in Belgium and destroyed them 5-1 at home. Their opponents for the quarter finals are a complete different side to who they faced in the previous round. It will be tough for the Portuguese league leaders but they still have a chance to make it to the final four.

Roger Schmidt has outlined how hard it will be to qualify but he still has hope in his team:


They have an Italian style, but they know how to change a lot, we have to be ready for anything. We want to play our best football and we have to be ready for a very strong team, with so many individual qualities and so many options, I think we know what we have to do, deliver a top performance.

Alexander Nah sustained an injury against Porto and won't play tonight. Julian Draxler, Goncalo Guedes and Mihailo Ristic haven't recovered from their injuries. Finally Nicolas Otamendi is suspended for tonight's game.

Inter Milan

Place in domestic league: 4th

Last three results: D L L

Inter Milan are in the middle of a club crisis. Simone Inzaghi's future remains uncertain after they've failed to win a game in their last four league games. Inter have lost matches against lower league teams like Spezia Empoli and Fiorentina. They are only seven points away from second place however they've allowed teams behind them to come back. There also only ten points away from ninth place Fiorentina.

In the Champions League, they managed to eliminate Porto thanks to a goal from Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian striker's goal was the only one over the two legs (1-0; 0-0). Things will have to change if they want to continue their European journey in what will be their second tie against a Portuguese side.

Inter's defender Alessandro Bastoni claims that they will have to be 'aggressive' in order to win:

Serie A and Champions are two completely different competitions. We give 100% in both of them. We know that tomorrow is a big occasion and we'll have to be aggressive and nasty.

Simone Inzaghi knows how hard it will be to knock out Benfica:

We know it won’t be easy against a strong quality opponent, but we know that together (and I think this is the word to use in the next two months) we can come away satisfied.

Inter Milan will travel to Portugal with one newly injured player. Turkish midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu is not likely to feature in this game. He joins Milan Skriniar, Federico Dimarco and Dalbert on the injury list.

SEE ALSO: Promising Cork City Youngster Matthew Moore Set For Move To Germany


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