Here they are, the matchups that will determine who wins the biggest prize in Europe. And surprise, surprise: Real Madrid got lucky again.
Yes, after facing the pickpockets’ row that was Roma and Wolfsburg in the knockout rounds, Real have lucked into by far the easiest opponent left in the tournament by drawing Manchester City. Neither team has been very good this season, yet both will feel they have a great shot at reaching the final by going up against the suspect defense of their opponent. Manuel Pellegrini will likely be licking his chops at the chance to knock out his former employers in Madrid.
The far more interesting tie is Atlético Madrid-Bayern Munich. Bayern, the favorites to win the whole thing, are probably the safer pick to advance, but as Atlético showed in the last round against Barcelona, they more than anyone else are equipped to stymie an intricate offense facilitated by a handful of super attackers. At any rate, it will be a hell of a lot of fun seeing the two duke it out.
In the Europa League, Liverpool will play Villarreal while Sevilla go up against Shakhtar. Liverpool will have a tough go of it (by facing Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, and Villarreal, their draw from the Round of 16 on in Europe’s JV competition has been more challenging than Real Madrid’s in the premier one), trying to qualify for next season’s Champions League via winning the Europa League by going up against one of the strongest clubs in Spain. Speaking of, it would be a powerful statement of La Liga dominance if the finals of these two tournaments wound up Real Madrid-Atlético and Villarreal-Sevilla, four teams from the best league in the world.
Photo via Twitter