MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 14: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid applauds after Real beat PFC CSKA Moskva 4-1 in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Real Madrid and PFC CSKA Moskva at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 14, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Greetings from the land of sand. This is the weekly segment here on Managing Madrid where I walk around my international campus and ask random people of different backgrounds and football loyalties questions about the footballing world and Real Madrid.
The Champions League quarter-final matchups are rapidly approaching, with Real Madrid up against APOEL in Cyprus tomorrow. So in order to get everyone talking and ready for the match, I decided to ask around and hear a few predictions.
So the question this week: Which teams will advance to the quarterfinals of the Champions League and why?
In case you forgot, the matches are:
Real Madrid vs APOEL and Chelsea vs Benfica on Tuesday night
Barcelona vs AC Milan and Marseille vs Bayern Munich on Wednesday night
Here's what some other fans predict:
Real Madrid will advance because they have a stronger team than APOEL. In regards to Milan and Barca, I believe that Barca will succeed but only because Milan's players are injured or missing out on the game. But it will still be a good game. And I have a feeling that Marseille will beat Bayern. Also Chelsea should manage well against Benfica because of Chelsea's experience. I believe that experience and heart in these four games will play out a big role in the upcoming matches.
-Omar, Egypt, Real Madrid
Real Madrid are too good for APOEL, Chelsea will breeze past Benfica at Stamford Bridge but struggle in the first leg, while Bayern Munich will easily dispatch of Marseille while I PRAY that Milan can pull off an upset and bring down Barcelona.
-Mohamed, Egypt, Chelsea
Real Madrid because of APOEL, Benfica because they are the underdogs, Bayern Munich because it's Marseille, and Milan because I can't' say Barca.
-Phillip, Lebanon, AC Milan
I don't think people should underestimate the underdogs (APOEL, Benfica, Marseille). Any team that can make it to the quarterfinals are definitely a worthy adversary. Also, these teams have much less pressure, because everyone expects them to lose, so they can put everything they have into their games. Nevertheless, I do think Madrid will defeat APOEL and Bayern will beat Marseille. The Benfica-Chelsea clash should be a good match, because Benfica have been in impressive form, while the the Blues are still in the process of re-organizing their team.
-Zaid, Syria, Real Madrid
I believe Real Madrid will advance for sure, but they will have a rough time when they are away. However, they are way better than APOEL which is a minor team compared to Madrid. Chelsea will definitely win because they're better while Bayern Munich will struggle against Marseille, but they'll get through, and I am hoping that Barcelona beats Milan, which is most likely what will happen.
-Nadim, Lebanon, Barcelona
Real Madrid will have an easy game to play, Chelsea have really changed since there new manager has arrived, Bayern Munich with a motivation to play in the final at home, will all go through. And as good as AC Milan are I firmly believe that Barca will beat them.
-Saker, Palestine, Barcelona
I think Chelsea and Real will go through. Barca and AC Milan will be close so I can't say but the one I'll be watching is Marseille and Bayern. Although Bayern is a better team, Marseille has pulled off surprise wins so I'll be looking out for that match.
-Fahad, Pakistan, Liverpool
Benfica are off form and just lost their centre back, so Chelsea should be able to pull through to the semis. Bayern are at the top of their game again, and should meet Madrid who will own APOEL. Barca's the best team, but Milan have shown they don't need to play better than the opposition to win, so it'll come down to whether Milan can defend..and I think they can.
-Yusuf, Ethiopia, AC Milan
To be fair, Benfica has had the easiest route to the quarterfinals. They only had one big team in their group which was United and we all know how that turned out. They played Zenit in the Round of 16 and I think they got the easiest game along with Real Madrid. However, they also got 4 points in two games from United. Chelsea have been in good form but a loss and draw in their last two games has been a major blow to their top four hopes. As a Chelsea fan I hope the Blues can win it and wish Chelsea to go through.
Madrid will have a tough time in Cyprus, but will still easily go through. Bayern will destroy Marseille, and Barca will go through against Milan because of Allegri's stupid decision to play Silva and Abate before such a big game.
-Raghid, Lebanon, Chelsea
Now that you've read a few opinions from other fans, Managing Madrid would like to hear from you--madridistas, take a vote in the poll, comment on our facebook page, and tweet us @managingmadrid. Keep the conversation going below but make sure all comments are respectful.
You can see Real in action tomorrow against APOEL, so we'll see how right (or wrong) these predictions are. Stick with us here on Managing Madrid for coverage of this year's Champions League season. As always, Hala Madrid!
Which underdog is going to be this round's surprise?
APOEL (12 votes)
Olympique Marseille (19 votes)
Benfica (40 votes)
AC Milan (71 votes)
None. The favorites will all advance. (43 votes)
Other (I'll explain in the comments) (0 votes)
185 total votes