UEFA Champions League action returns today as Chelsea play hosts to Porto in Seville while Paris Saint-Germain host Bayern Munich at Parc Des Princes in the second leg of their respective quarter-final encounters.
Chelsea and Porto are wrestling for a place in the last four in a neutral venue and the Blues currently have the advantage after beating the Portuguese outfit 2 nil in the first leg at the same venue.
Porto will be keen to overturn the deficit which is a gargantuan task and we wait to see if manager Sergio Conceicao will be willing to feature Sergio Oliveira in this game having missed the first leg of the clash.
Both sides are coming off the back of domestic wins and will be brimming with confidence. Porto will be expected to take the game to Chelsea in this one and if they can open the scoring, the game will turn on its head.
However, Chelsea under Tuchel appear not to be content with sitting back and we wait to see if Porto will be able to dictate play from the start.
Regardless, the Blues may decide to tread with caution in this one and if Porto also decide to throw in everything at the start, they could be susceptible to a counter. Well, they have nothing to lose and must do so to stand a chance.
The Blues will be wise not to write off their Portuguese opponents though, not after they eliminated Juventus in Turin, even with a man down. We look forward to seeing how this clash turns out and if Porto will be able to stun Chelsea in this one.
Meanwhile, eyes will be on Kai Havertz to see if he can impress and be consistent after a decent performance against Crystal Palace during the weekend.
In the other game, PSG will host Bayern Munich in one of the crackers of the current round. The Ligue 1 giants have a very good advantage after beating Bayern 3:2 at the Allianz Arena. Therefore, Hansi Flick’s men would need lots of goals to scale through to the next stage.
Fortune appears to have favored PSG in this clash as the Germans will still miss the services of Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski, although the Polish striker has returned to training.
PSG appear to have come of age in Europe in the past two seasons and therefore, fears that they may mess up and fall short even with their advantage as they have done in previous seasons are no longer there.
Bayern Munich will pose a major threat to the French outfit but their attack is depleted in my opinion and their defense won’t have it easy with the likes of Di Maria, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe running at them.
Therefore, despite Bayern’s ruthlessness, PSG should be able to do enough to see this game out as they did in the previous round against Barcelona and progress to the next stage of the competition.
Bayern and Porto have it all to do and must do it the hard way if they want to make it past their opponents tonight.
A very disciplined and effective approach will be needed for this to materialize. Will any of the ties be turned on its head? We’ll see tonight!