Atletico Madrid v Barcelona – Wed 7.45pm
In Barcelona’s win over Atletico in the first leg I think they were fortunate. If it wasn’t for the sending off of Fernando Torres I don’t think they would have won the game. They haven’t won a La Liga game since they beat Arsenal in the Champions League, losing two and drawing one. That’s a bad run and both Messi and Neymar look a little off colour. If it wasn’t for Luis Suarez then they may be struggling even more. He’s the one who is keeping them going right now and he will be the main threat against Atletico Madrid because that’s what they’ll be depending on. He has had a fantastic season.
Without Torres, who is suspended, Atletico Madrid will find life really difficult but they only need to score one goal. The task will be can they stop Barcelona from scoring.
These teams have played each other three times already this season and every game has finished 2-1 to Barcelona. It wouldn’t surprise me if it finished 2-1 to Barcelona again but they’re going to have to play better than they have been. Losing at Real Sociedad at the weekend was a really bad result for them so they’re going to have to look to Suarez, Messi and Neymar for a big performance.
Atletico will be stubborn, they won’t have much of the ball but they’ll be a threat on the break with Antoine Griezmann, who has had a fantastic season. He will be the main threat now that Torres is out. It’ll be interesting to see whether Diego Simeone picks another front man or goes with an extra midfield player.
Griezmann is the main player Barcelona will have to deal with but Atletico are tasked with stopping three players in Messia, Neymar and Suarez and for that reason I have to go with Barcelona to go through.
Benfica v Bayern Munich – Wed 7.45pm
It surprised me having scored in the first minute that Bayern didn’t go on and win more comfortably. I did say last week that Benfica are no mugs. They’re used to winning matches at domestic level and they’ve given themselves a real chance.
I think Bayern will definitely score in Portugal and that’s going to make life difficult for Benfica. It’d mean they’re going to have to score three and I don’t think they can score three against this Bayern Munich side.
I’m confident that Bayern Munich are going to go through, if they need a goal they have Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Arturo Vidal amongst others. Certainly Lewandowski would be the favourite but I always feel that Thomas Muller is a big player for the big occasion so it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets on the scoresheet.