The second part of the Champions League last 16 first legs return this midweek, and the headline act is likely to be Paris Saint-Germain’s game at home to Real Madrid.
Le Parisiens have a two-goal deficit to make up, after their 3-1 loss at the Spanish capital three weeks ago, and are certain to be without Neymar, the Brazilian who was taken off injured against Marseille just over a week ago. The European front has been the target for the Qatari owners, which has been unsuccessful, and it’s not implausible that elimination at this stage, for the second season in a row, will spell the end for Unai Emery.
Real Madrid, haven’t fallen at this stage since 2010, and seem to have been re-ignited by the resumption of the Champions League, with their domestic form also improving (just one defeat since the start of February). This competition is Los Blancos’ only hope of silverware this season, and elimination is also likely to spell the end for Zinedine Zidane.
From the French capital to the English capital then, as Tottenham and Juventus meet at Wembley on Wednesday. Despite taking a two-goal lead at the start of the first leg, Juve surrendered their advantage, and had to make do with a 2-2 draw, a result which has them at a slight disadvantage, as they travel to a ground where Spurs haven’t lost since August. For Spurs, it’s a chance for only a second ever quarter final appearance, while Juventus, finalists last year, hope to go one better and deliver a parting gift to veteran goalie Gigi Buffon, although the Bianconeri haven’t achieved successive quarter final appearances since 2006.
Elsewhere, Manchester City host Basel, Pep Guardiola’s with a 4-0 first leg lead and surely on the path to the last eight. Liverpool also have a surely unassailable advantage, after 5-0 win at Porto in the first leg.
PSG v Real Madrid
Manchester City v Basel
Liverpool v Porto
Tottenham v Juventus