Champions League: Man City face Atletico Madrid, Chelsea take on Real Madrid and Liverpool play Benfica in quarter-finals | Football News

The Champions League continues this week and there are three English teams in action as Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all bid to reach the semi-finals.

The first legs of the quarter-finals begin on Tuesday, with Man City and Liverpool – who meet live on Sky Sports in a Premier League showdown on Super Sunday – in action.

Pep Guardiola’s side face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, while Liverpool travel to Benfica in the last eight.

On Wednesday, reigning champions Chelsea host Real Madrid and Villarreal take on Bayern Munich ahead of the second legs next week.

Man City and Liverpool’s defining 11 days


Sunday 10th April 4:00pm


Kick off 4:30pm


Tuesday’s games for Man City and Liverpool mark the beginning of an 11-day period that could define their seasons.

After the first legs this week, the heavyweights go head-to-head in a huge Premier League title clash on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports, looking to snatch a crucial advantage ahead of the final run-in.

Then, after the Champions League quarter-final second legs on Wednesday April 13, they return to an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday April 16 at Wembley.

It could mean one team is knocked out of two cup competitions and possibly the Premier League title race in the space of under two weeks.

When asked about the mental side for his players of dealing with big game after big game, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp replied: “We are used to it and we enjoy it.

“At the moment it’s very exciting and interesting. There’s no problem with that, it’s all good. It’s the situation we dreamed of if we would have dreamed before the season. So now we are here, let’s try to get the most [out] of it.”

Liverpool team news

Jurgen Klopp has a full squad to select from for Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg.

Naby Keita has recovered from a knee issue that saw him sit out the 2-0 Premier League win over Watford on Saturday.

Curtis Jones and Joel Matip sustained knocks in that contest but are also available. Trent Alexander-Arnold could be back in action after returning to the matchday squad as an unused substitute at the weekend.

Will Chelsea bounce back after Brentford defeat?

Champions League holders Chelsea come into their first leg this week off the back of a shock 4-1 defeat to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.

“Once we had [the opener] we stopped defending and gave three goals away in 10 minutes. It was very untypical and killed the game for us,” Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said after the game.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win over Chelsea in the Premier League

After a relatively easy last-16 tie with Lille, which Chelsea won 4-1 on aggregate, they face a much sterner test in 13-times Champions League winners Real Madrid.

They had a much tougher last-16 match, producing an astonishing comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate. However, a damaging recent El Clasico defeat to Barcelona – losing 4-0 in La Liga – shows Real Madrid may not be the daunting opponents the draw would suggest.

Pep: Debate over Atleti style ‘stupid’; ‘I never judge opponents’

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Pep Guardiola reacts to Man City’s Champions League quarter-final fixture against Atletico Madrid, saying their biggest quality is stopping their opponents from playing their own game

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to get involved in a discussion about Atletico Madrid’s style of football ahead of their Champions League quarter-final at the Etihad.

The match has been billed as a clash of styles between Guardiola’s usual possession-based, free-flowing approach and Atletico boss Diego Simeone’s more rudimentary tactics.

But Guardiola said: “I’m not going to talk one second about this stupid debate. Everyone tries to win the game.

“If they win they are right, if we win we are right. It’s for the players, the difference will be there.”

Man City team news

Manchester City are again without Kyle Walker against Atletico Madrid.

The England right-back completes a three-match ban for his sending-off in the final group game against RB Leipzig in December.

Ruben Dias is missing as he continues to nurse a thigh problem, while youngster Cole Palmer (foot) is also unavailable.

Manchester United, meanwhile, were unable to overcome Atletico’s spoiling tactics in the previous round, but Guardiola refuses to refer to them as an ugly team.

He said: “We have to do the same, defend our position. It’s part of the game. I’m not going to judge what they do, I’ll analyse what to do to get a good result to go to Madrid next week.

“What is playing ugly? My team won in Old Trafford 1-0 and Bernardo Silva spent five minutes in the corner. That is not ugly, it’s defending the position. I never judge the opponents, what they do.”

For his part, Diego Simeone has no intention of diverting from his tried-and-trusted methods but insists he is a big admirer of the way City play.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Burnley in the Premier League

The Argentine said: “We’re going to play where we think we can hurt them. We’re going to use our characteristics, the way we’ve been playing for years, and continue to compete.

“But City are a lovely team to watch. What I like most about teams that play well like them is the strength and effort they put in to winning the ball back while continuing to play in an attacking way.

“They have some great players – Sterling, De Bruyne – but what wakes me up is that they run, they pressurise, they are always active. They never leave a lost ball. This work ethic is additional to the talent. All managers want that.”

Benfica’s Taarabt: I have nothing to prove

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Ahead of the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp believes his Liverpool side need to respect the individual quality of the Benfica players

Benfica forward Adel Taarabt insists he has nothing to prove in the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool after a frustrating personal time in English football.

The Morocco international had spells at Tottenham, QPR and Fulham but he left in 2014, initially on loan to AC Milan, before joining the Portuguese giants a year later having never really fulfilled his potential.

A last-eight clash against Klopp’s side presents an opportunity to showcase his talents to an English audience once more, but Taarabt says all his efforts are geared towards winning.

“I have nothing to prove, only for myself and my team. That’s it,” he said. “Of course it is a special occasion for me because I used to live in England and played there for seven years but to prove anything? I don’t think so.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win against Watford in the Premier League

“When you play for Benfica you know every game is important. We play all the games to win: it is the quarter-final of the Champions League and we know it is very important for us.”

Taarabt was asked about the prospect of facing Liverpool, who have lost just once since the end of December and are on a run of 10 successive Premier League victories.

“We respect them but we don’t fear them,” he added. “It is a team which has been playing four or five years together so I think they have the momentum and know each other very well.

“When I played Liverpool they were an inconsistent team, already a great team but with players coming in and out. This one is more strong.”

Round of 16

First-leg fixtures

Tuesday February 15

Wednesday February 16

Tuesday February 22

Wednesday February 23

Second-leg fixtures

Tuesday March 8

Wednesday March 9

Tuesday March 15

Wednesday March 16

Quarter-finals

First leg fixtures

Tuesday April 5

Benfica vs Liverpool (8pm)

Man City vs Atletico Madrid (8pm)

Wednesday April 6

Chelsea vs Real Madrid (8pm)

Villarreal vs Bayern Munich (8pm)

Tuesday April 12

Bayern Munich vs Villarreal (8pm)

Real Madrid vs Chelsea (8pm)

Wednesday April 13

Atletico Madrid vs Man City (8pm)

Liverpool vs Benfica (8pm)

Semi-finals

Benfica/Liverpool vs Villarreal/Bayern Munich

Man City/Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea/Real Madrid

First legs scheduled to be played on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27; second legs on Tuesday May 3 and Wednesday May 4.

Final

Scheduled to be played on Saturday May 28 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis.


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