The UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals of season 2022/23’s are scheduled to take place this week with some very exciting matchups ahead of us. The defending champions Real Madrid are looking to retain their title & claim a record-breaking 15th UCL title as they face Chelsea in a repeat of the previous season’s knockout clash. In a big clash of European heavyweights, the German champions Bayern Munich will take on the English champions Manchester City. The resurgent Napoli will take on AC Milan in an all-Italian clash meanwhile their neighbours Inter Milan will take on Benfica.
Champions League Quarter-Finals Preview
Real Madrid vs Chelsea
- 1st leg: 12th April – Santiago Bernabeu
- 2nd leg: 18th April – Stamford Bridge
- Head to head: Real Madrid = 01-02 Chelsea
In a repeat of the previous 2021/2022 season quarter-final, the Los Blancos & the Blues come face to face again. Madrid made an astonishing comeback last year after going down 4-3 on aggregate to eventually win by 5-4 courtesy of Benzema’s 96th-minute winner in extra time.
This year’s story is quite different with Chelsea sacking their manager Graham Potter & replacing him with a returning Frank Lampard after they fell out of the top 10 in the Premier League. Chelsea will be eyeing revenge for last year’s defeat as well as this could be the only silverware they can win this season after getting knocked out of every competition.
Key Player: Thiago Silva
Meanwhile, Madrid has fallen 12 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga title race. But if anybody knows how to win this competition it’s Los Blancos. Vying for a record 15th UCL title Madrid will leave no stone unturned to win this tie. With ageless Modric & Kroos still driving their midfield force, Madrid will be eyeing a semifinal spot.
Key Player: Karim Benzema
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City
- 1st leg: 11th April – Etihad Stadium
- 2nd leg: 19th April – Allianz Arena
- Head to head: Bayern Munich 03-03 Manchester City
Probably the biggest clash of this year’s quarter-final as the champions of their respective leagues come face to face in what is supposed to be a mouth-watering clash. For the first time, the Citizens face the Bavarians in a UCL knockout tie. It will also be the first homecoming for City’s manager Pep Guardiola after managing the Munich side from 2013-16.
Last year’s semi-finalists Manchester City have the biggest challenge in front of them. Year after year failing in the UCL after spending huge sums of money, Pep knows that this is the only trophy that has eluded him since parting ways with FC Barcelona. The City is on a 12-match unbeaten streak and with Halaand back to his scoring ways after the injury this is going to be an exciting matchup.
Key Player: Erling Halaand
Bayern is on a roll in UCL this season after winning all of their group games & then both legs against PSG in the RO16. But still, this wasn’t enough as their manager Julian Nagelsmann was sacked & Thomas Tuchel was appointed to lead the Bavarian side.
Key Player: Joshua Kimmich
Napoli vs AC Milan
- 1st leg: 12th April – San Siro
- 2nd leg: 18th April – Stadio Maradona
- Head to head: 0
In an all-Italian clash, the resurgent Napoli under Luciano Spalleti faces the current Serie A champions, AC Milan. This is going to be the first European meeting between the two sides.
Napoli has been playing beautiful football all this season & it shows by the 18-point difference at the top as they march towards their first Serie A title since Maradona in 1990. Football pundits have termed them as the dark horses for this season’s UCL. In the summer it seemed to pretty much everyone that it was an end of an era. Losing Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Lorenzo Insigne (Toronto FC), and the club’s all-time top-scorer Dries Mertens (Galatasaray) put Napoli in some kind of ‘transition’ season.
Key Player: Victor Osimhem
AC Milan hasn’t had the best of seasons. In Serie A, they are at no.4 currently, 22 points adrift from the top. They overcame Tottenham Hotspurs in the RO16 with some very disciplined defense. Rossoneri made a comeback to UCL last season after 7 years. Although they were knocked out from the group stage, this year they want to reach their first semi-final in 16 years.
Key player: Rafael Leao
Inter Milan vs Benfica
- 1st leg: 11th April – Estadio da Luz
- 2nd leg: 19th April – San Siro
- Head to head: Inter Milan 01 -0 Benfica
This is going to be their first meeting after the 1965 UCL Final in which Inter came out on top.
Inter Milan is vying for their first semi-final spot since their title-winning campaign in 2010. They are currently 5th in the Serie A behind AC Milan with 51 points. A disappointing campaign in terms of Serie A but they are still in the semis of Coppa Italia.
Key Player: Romelu Lukaku
Benfica for the second time in a row found themselves in the quarter-finals of the UCL. They topped the group containing PSG to avoid a tougher RO16 opponent & are now looking to reach their first semi-final since 1990. Currently topping the Primeira Liga by seven points
Key Player: Alejandro Grimaldo