UEFA Champions League 2020-21 preview: Can Chelsea survive Atletico test in pre-quarters first leg?
First Published Feb 23, 2021, 1:16 PM IST
The UEFA Champions League 2020-21 has entered the pre-quarters stage, as the opening leg is gathering pace. Defending champion Bayern Munich plays on Tuesday night, while three other teams are also slated to clash in the respective matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, in the opening leg.
The pre-quarters stage of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League began last week, while eight more teams are scheduled to clash on Tuesday and Wednesday in the opening leg. While all the matches involve top teams, it is the clash between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea that would headline it. In the same light, we present the preview of the matches this week.
Will Lazio face the wrath of Bayern Munich?
Munich is the defending champion, having been the most fierce team in the competition last season. It has continued with the same momentum this season, finishing unbeaten in the group stage. It travels to face Italian gaint Lazio on Tuesday. Although Lazio might have the home advantage here, considering Munich's stature, the former faces an uphill task. Overall, Munich is the outright favourite here.
Atalanta has a Real task at hand
Similarly, on the likes of Lazio-Munich, fellow Italian giant Atalanta plays host to record UCL champion Real Madrid on Wednesday. Although Madrid is not the same as before, having already lost to a couple of games in the group stage, it still managed to finish on top. Meanwhile, Atalanta is one of the rising giants in Italy. Although Atalanta, too, has the home advantage here, it needs to play its A+ game to stand a chance to gain the upper hand against Madrid. As of now, Madrid is somewhat the favourite here.
Can Manchester City continue its fury against Borussia Monchengladbach?
English giant Manchester City has controversially managed to continued playing in the tournament, as it survived to finish atop the table in its group, staying unbeaten. While it is already unbeaten across competitions this year, it would look to continue with the same as it travels to Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday. The German giant once again has the home advantage here. However, given City's tallness and its current deadly form, Monchengladbach has an arduous task at hand. Once again, the visitor is the favourite here.
Who among Chelsea and Atletico would draw first blood?
The clash of the week has to be between Atletico, which entertains Chelsea. While Atletico has been in a glorious form in La Liga, it has somewhat been shaky in the past three matches, besides finishing second in its UCL group for the season. As for Chelsea, it stayed unbeaten and topped the group under then-manager Frank Lampard. However, it is so far unbeaten under new boss, Thomas Tuchel. Nonetheless, being an away tie could mean Atletico gaining the upper hand. Yet, if Chelsea manages to walk away with a win here, it should not be that surprising.
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