Champions League Quarterfinals: Ajax vs Juventus; Manchester United vs Barcelona
With a few surprise entrants, the 2019 UEFA Champions League tournament is heating up as we get down to the final stages. Each of the eight teams remaining in the 2019 UCL quarter finals has a real chance of claiming the top prize in European football. The first legs of the quarterfinals are set to take place from Apr. 9-10.
Nitrogen Sports Blog takes a closer look at a pair of quarter finals matchups involving Ajax, Juventus,Manchester United and Barcelona.
Ajax vs Juventus
First Leg: Ajax vs Juventus – Johan Cruijff ArenA (10/04)
Juventus are heavy favorites heading into their away game against Ajax, with much of the focus on star forward Cristiano Ronaldo. He probably prefers it that way, continuing to score at a phenomenal rate despite even at age 34.
Juventus have nothing to worry about other than the UEFA Champions League, with their domestic season already over, so they will have 100 percent of their focus on their European success.
Ajax saw off Real Madrid with a shock 4-1 win during the second leg of their knockout tie. Despite being one of the weakest sides on paper, they had no trouble dumping out the reigning champions with a masterclass in attacking play.
Their uber-attacking mentality paid dividends against La Real, but Juve don’t tend to concede many goals. If the Italian side can weather the early storm, their brand of counter-attacking football could rip Ajax apart with Ronaldo at the helm.
Manchester United vs Barcelona
First Leg: Manchester United vs Barcelona – Old Trafford (10/04)
Manchester United came back from a 2-0 deficit to extinguish PSG’s hopes of winning the European Cup in the last 16.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reinvigorated the squad since rejoining last December, but Barcelona are always dangerous with Lionel Messi in tow.
Messi is hoping to earn his fifth Champions League title with Barca, and his side are the favorites as they head to Old Trafford for the first leg.
They demolished Lyon with a 5-1 aggregate victory in the last round, and the Catalan side has previously beaten United twice in the finals.
Messi featured in the winning side in 2009 and 2011, and he still has enough in the tank to strike fear into the Red Devil’s creaky defense.
United will look to Paul Pogba, who will be back from suspension following a red card against PSG.
It doesn’t take one to be hardcore soccer fan to appreciate the UEFA Champions League. But if you’re still in the dark about this competition and needs the Champions League explained more, then you’re going to learn about it here at Nitrogen Sports Blog.
While we’re at it, you can browse our blog for additional information about the upcoming 2019 UCL quarter finals.