Manchester United play host to German giants Bayern Munich whilst Barcelona welcome the arrival of an overachieving Atletico Madrid side in tonight’s Champions League quarter final matches.
Man United v Bayern
In spite of their well-documented shortfalls domestically, a stunning second leg performance against Olympiakos a few weeks ago kept Manchester United’s season alive. The uplifting performance which sent them through to the last eight of the competition did come at a price however when £23 million rated Robin Van Persie – incidentally the man to inspire such a great result with a 25 minute hat trick – was stretchered off just a few minutes from time and as a result will not line up against fellow countryman Arjen Robben this evening.
Van Persie’s absence only heaps further pressure on English talisman Wayne Rooney to perform tonight and coupled with this, it’s hard for the Reds take solace from the previous statistics that accompany this fixture.
For example, David Moyes’ side have won just one of their last six encounters against Munich (it shouldn’t be hard for United fans to guess which one) and as we all know, Guardiola’s side are in sterling form both in Europe and domestically after already clinching the 2013/2014 title in record time and being the current holders of the Uefa Champions League itself.
Man United – 6.3
Draw – 4.55
Bayern Munich – 1.48
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Like United, Real Madrid are also suffering from a ‘noisy neighbours’ complex with local rivals Atletico Madrid emerging from the status of ‘top eight also-rans’ into serious La Liga title contenders in the space of two seasons.
Many believed the departure of Radamel Falcao to AS Monaco last season marked the beginning of the end of Diego Simeone’s men. It’s fair to say however, that Atletico have come back even stronger with Diego Costa filling the leftover boots of Falcao more than ably after already netting 33 goals in all competitions this season. They face a Barca side also fighting on multiple fronts, sitting in second place in the La Liga table behind Atletico themselves and also searching for European glory for the first time since 2011.
Barcelona – 1.52
Draw – 4.25
Atletico Madrid – 6.15