Two teams will punch their ticket to the Champions League Semifinals this Tuesday night, while two others will be left to turn their attention back towards their domestic leagues. The second leg of both of Tuesday’s matches stands to be thrilling. Juventus are not the favorite many thought they would be coming into their return leg against Ajax, while Barcelona know they have to be on their guard despite a win in Old Trafford in the first leg after what Manchester United did to Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16.
Champions League Quarterfinals Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Juventus Turin -144
Ajax Amsterdam +396
Cristiano Ronaldo has been part of five Champions League winning teams, and his away goal might prove huge for Juventus in the second leg. Ronaldo made a brilliant run through Ajax’s defense just before half time to put the Serie A champions ahead, but David Neres bent home an equalizer right after the break to ensure the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
As they did against Real Madrid, Ajax controlled the run of play and were the better team for long stretches. The Dutch club outshot Juventus 19 to 7, and they ended the match with six shots on goal compared to just one for the visitors. They will now look to do what they did in the last round and score a huge road win in the second leg to advance.
This Ajax team has been incredible, and it’s a shame we will only see them together for this season. Many of the stars will be sold off in the summer, so it’s now or never if Ajax want to win their first Champions League in nearly five decades.
David Neres was brilliant for Ajax last time out, and the midfield and forwards were largely solid too. Dusan Tadic, Hakim Ziyech, and Donny van de Beek looked impressive too, but they just couldn’t convert on their chances.
Ronaldo is the leading scorer in Champions League history, and there is a chasm between himself and the next closest scorer. He was brought here for this, and he impressed while Mario Mandzukic largely disappointed.
Wojciech Szczesny was sharp for Juventus in the first leg, but Ajax were continually finding cracks in Juventus’ back line. This team is young and hungry, and I think they will pull off yet another shocker and send Juventus crashing out.
Prediction: Ajax 2, Juventus 1
FC Barcelona -242
Manchester United +586
The first leg between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford was a relatively even affair. Barcelona controlled possession like we thought they would, but Manchester United outshot Barca and had plenty of chances. Unfortunately for the Red Devils, they fell 1-0 after a Luis Suarez header deflected off of Luke Shaw and into the back of United’s net.
Injuries have decimated Manchester United over the last month, and they are going to really sting with such a quick turnaround time between matches. The Red Devils don’t have the luxury of playing a lot of reserves in their domestic league match on Saturday unlike Barcelona either, so fatigue will likely be against the visitors too.
However, the biggest difference is just the massive disparity in talent between the two clubs. Lionel Messi has been the best player in the world over the past nine months, and he is running away with the scoring title in La Liga. He has another world class player in Luis Suarez, and a tenacious midfielder in Ivan Rakitic that is constantly breaking up counters.
Paul Pogba won’t be able to do enough, and Manchester United will be eliminated unless Romelu Lukaku or Marcus Rashford does something spectacular.
Prediction: Barcelona 3, Manchester United 0
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