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The Champions League is back!

The Long wait is over!  Everybody brace your selves!  For the Champions League is about to make a glorious return. This also means one thing – it’s time to get paid.

but only if you are registered on www.sportpesa.com. The premiere Club Competition #UCL kicks off its quarterfinals round with a pair of tantalizing ties both Today (Tuesday 14th) and tomorrow (Wednesday.15th).

Here is all you need to know ahead of the return of the Champions League…

What are the fixtures?

Tuesday 14 April:

Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid,

Juventus vs Monaco

 

Wednesday 15 April:

FC Porto vs Bayern Munich,

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona

 

All fixtures kick off at 9:45 PM

 What are the odds?

 

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid:

Atletico:  2.63

Draw:       2.98

Real:        2.48

 Juventus vs Monaco:

Juventus: 1.41

Draw:         3.63

Monaco:   7.31

 

(Odds collected from www.sportpesa.com)

 

Kick off Match

 

Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid

 

Remember when these Madrid giants met in last year’s Champions League final? Remember how tight an encounter that game turned out to be, going to extra time before Real ran away with a 4-1 victory?

Would you believe me if I told you that day, May 24, was the last time Real beat Atletico in any competition? Because it’s true, and that includes two legs in the Spanish Super Cup, two legs in the Copa Del Rey and two La Liga meetings. Real are a pitiful 0-for-6 against Atletico this season. No single-leg victories, no aggregate victories, no anything.

And yet, it’s almost impossible to see anything other than a Real victory occurring over the next two weeks, isn’t it? Carlo Ancelotti’s side has won their last three league games by a combined score of 14-1, while Diego Simeone’s men are struggling to fend off Valencia and Sevilla for third in the league.

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in his last four games since Los Blanco’s narrowly avoided defeat at the hands of Schalke in the round of 16. Luka Modric has returned from a long-term injury and brought a sense of calm and stability to the midfield, while the defense has allowed just the one goal since they tasted El Clasico defeat on March 22.

Meanwhile, Atletico’s leading scorer, Mario Mandzukic has been hobbled by an ankle injury for the better part of two month, though it does seem he’ll be available on Tuesday. Only Ronaldo’s scintillating for bests that of Antoine Griezmann (four goals in three games), as the Frenchman enjoys a dream debut season (18 league goals) for Los Rojiblancos and prepares for his first foray into the business end of the Champions League.

 

Juventus vs. Monaco

According to…well, anyone and everyone who watches European soccer, Monaco weren’t supposed to be here. This was the year, they said, that Arsenal would break their streak of four-straight season bowing out in the round of 16, because they had finally been handed the “easy” draw. Monaco are third in the “terrible” Ligue 1 and a three-point drop away from fifth, for crying out loud.

And yet, Leandro Jardim’s men went into London, snatched a 3-1 victory at Emirates Stadium and held on at home in the second leg. Now they find themselves facing a Juventus side which long ago sealed their fate as Serie A champions-elect (14-point lead with nine games to play before resting three-quarters of their regular starters last weekend), a Juve side who see themselves with the proverbial “golden ticket” into the semifinals for the first time since 2003.

Predicted Lineups

Juventus (4-3-2-1): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Vidal,Pirlo, Marchisio; Pereyra, Tevez; Morata

AS Monaco (4-3-3): Subasic; Raggi, Wallace, Abdennour, Kurzawa;Fabinho, Kondogbia, Moutinho; Carrasco, Berbatov, Martial

 Key Battle

Perhaps the key clash over this opening 90 minutes will be between AS Monaco’s Dimitar Berbatov and the Juventus defence. The formerManchester United striker is the undoubted star of Jardim’s side, leading the line and always capable of deciding any encounter with his nonchalant brilliance.

he task of shackling him will likely fall to Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, with the Italy duo forming an impressive partnership at the heart of Massimiliano Allegri’s four-man defence. Both are intelligent defenders, with the former also capable of stepping forward into midfield and making some incisive passes.

Likely to impact the game on both sides of the ball, this head-to-head battle could prove crucial, with Gigi Buffon no doubt keen to add to his ever-increasing tally of clean sheets in 2014-15.

 

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