Champions League quarter-finals: Manchester City face Real Madrid, Arsenal play Bayern Munich

The Champions League quarter-finals are set to take place this week, with Manchester City facing off against Real Madrid in a highly anticipated match. These two teams have met in the knockout stages three times in the past four seasons, including at the semi-final stage in 2022 and 2023. The first leg of their quarter-final will be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, 9 April, followed by the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on 17 April.

‘Pound for pound the best team in Europe’

According to experts on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Euro Leagues podcast, Manchester City is the best team in Europe and the favorite to win the Champions League this year. According to Guillem Balague, Manchester City boasts the strongest squad in Europe and the best manager, capable of reacting to any situation during games. James Horncastle added that City is pound for pound the best team in Europe. Despite being the favorites, City will have to play 14-time European champions Real Madrid, a side dominating La Liga, before a potential semi-final against either Premier League title rivals Arsenal or 2020 European champions Bayern Munich.

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Raphael Honigstein felt that City would not want an all-English semi-final but still tipped Guardiola’s side to win the final at Wembley on 1 June. He noted that City is the best team in the competition despite their flaws and the sense they’re more vulnerable than in recent years. He also pointed out that City’s draw was very bad for them, especially if they’re up against Arsenal in the semi-final, which is not what they want.

An all-English semi-final?

Arsenal is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010 and will be up against a Bayern side that will include ex-Tottenham striker Harry Kane. Bayern Munich’s 11-year Bundesliga title streak is under threat this season, with the team currently second in the table, well behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen.. Nevertheless, European football writer Julien Laurens believes there is a good chance of an all-English semi-final. He noted that City is too strong for Real Madrid, even with England midfielder Jude Bellingham, and that he can’t see Real Madrid being able to beat City over two legs. He also pointed out that Arsenal has a good chance to knock Bayern out and face City in the semi-finals.

What do the data experts say?

Manchester City is the favorite to lift the trophy for a second time, according to data specialists Nielsen Gracenote and their Euro Club Index model. Nielsen Gracenote lists each side’s chances of winning the competition, with Manchester City at 31%, followed by Real Madrid at 19%, Barcelona at 12%, Paris St-Germain at 10%, Arsenal at 9%, Bayern Munich at 7%, Atletico Madrid at 7%, and Borussia Dortmund at 5%. Nielsen Gracenote’s head of analysis, Simon Gleave, noted that Manchester City is the favorite to win the Champions League with a 31% chance of doing so, despite being drawn against the second-best team in the competition for this round. Arsenal is fifth favorites because they will have to face the winners of City – Real in the semi-finals, and both are ranked above them on our Euro Club Index.

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