Champions League quarter-finals: previews for the four ties this week

A look forward to Juventus v Barcelona and Dortmund v Monaco on Tuesday, plus Atltico Madrid v Leicester and Bayern v Real Madrid on Wednesday

Juventus v Barcelona, Tuesday

In a repeat of the 2015 final, Juventus will be hoping to exact revenge on a Barcelona side that lost at Mlaga at the weekend. Their 2-0 defeat was the latest in a long line of underwhelming results away from home Barcelona, who havent won more than two games in a row on the road since September. Their most memorable disappointment, of course, came in Paris before they completed a remarkable comeback to reach this stage.

The Old Lady have a formidable record at home, where they have not lost all season. Nevertheless, Massimiliano Allegris team have struggled to transfer their dominance in Serie A to the Champions League, with both Sevilla and Lyon able to steal a point in Turin. Their European games have generally been tight, low-scoring affairs. Barcelona have scored 25 goals in their Champions League matches this season, almost twice as many as their hosts (14), though Juventus have the tightest defence in the competition, having conceded just two goals in their eight games so far.

Whats more, the Serie A champions come into the game with a clean bill of health, while Andr Gomes who has underwhelmed since a move to Camp Nou is likely to come in for the suspended Sergio Busquets for Barcelona. That could afford Paulo Dybala the sort of space in which he thrives, with 12 of his 14 goals this season coming at home. Dani Alves will also be keen to impress against his former club.

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Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Tuesday

Fresh from a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker at the weekend, Thomas Tuchel will need to restore confidence quickly before the visit of this freescoring Monaco team. Tuchel will be glad his team are back at the Westfalenstadion, where they have enjoyed great success so far this season. Dortmund have won 13 and lost none of their 17 home matches in the Bundesliga and Champions League, including a 4-0 rout over Benfica in the previous round. Dortmund can match Barcelonas tally of 25 goals in the Champions League but, not to be outdone, Monaco have scored 88 goals in 31 Ligue 1 matches, making them the most prolific team in Europes big leagues. Lets hope the two teams continue their exciting form in this quarter-final.

Marco Reus is the biggest loss for the home side through injury, though they could also be without the Shinji Kagawa and Andr Schrrle, as well as Mario Gtze. Monaco will be without Djibril Sidib through illness, while Tiemou Bakayoko, who scored the goal that knocked Manchester City out of the competition, is suspended. Whether it be the experienced Andrea Raggi or the youthful Almamy Tour who fills in for Sidib at right-back, the battle with Ousmane Dembl who has five assists in the Champions League this season on that flank may well be key. The teenager has provided seven assists for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the Bundesliga this year, which makes them the most lethal combination in Europes top leagues this season.

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Atltico Madrid v Leicester City, Wednesday

They are huge outsiders with the bookies but Leicester City wouldnt have it any other way. Craig Shakespeare made his intentions clear at the weekend by resting Christian Fuchs, Danny Simpson, Wilfred Ndidi and Riyad Mahrez for their trip to Everton. Diego Simeone could afford no such luxury against Real Madrid, though a late equaliser from Antoine Griezmann at the Bernabu kept an impressive run going and will have boosted morale.

These are the two lowest-scoring sides left in the competition Atltico have scored 11 goals to Leicesters 10 so a goalfest is unlikely, but this should be an intriguing tactical battle nonetheless. Its a real banana skin for Atltico, who often excel against sides that offer them chances to counter, but thats also the case for Leicester, who may have preferred to be drawn against a more attacking opponent. The hosts will be expected to make the running though, and they will look to start quickly and then return to their trusted compact system as the game draws on.

Kvin Gameiro and Nicols Gaitn are doubts for the home side, meaning Fernando Torres may keep his place up front. The game comes too soon for Foxes captain Wes Morgan, who is struggling with a back injury and may prove a big loss. Mahrez has shone in Europe this season and will need to do so again to spring an upset. Expect to see some reaction online if Vardy and Partey are on the pitch at the same time.

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Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

The last time these teams met in the Champions League it proved to be a night to forget for Pep Guardiola. Bayern were attempting to overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of the semi-final in 2014, but they capitulated, conceding three goals in the first half before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second and Madrids fourth in the dying minutes of the game. Carlo Ancelotti was in charge of Real Madrid that night and he will be hoping to remedy the damage he inflicted when the teams meet again on Wednesday.

The Italian took some time to convince at the Allianz but a 4-1 win over Borussi Dortmund on Saturday was a welcome boost, while Zinedine Zidane who was Ancelottis assistant this time two years ago is aiming to become the first Real Madrid manager to win a league and European Cup double for 59 years. Real Madrid have won the European Cup a record 11 times but their last double came in the 1957-58 season, when they pipped Atltico to the domestic title and beat Milan in the European Cup final.

Both teams go into this tie with problems at the back. Bayern are sweating on the fitness of Manuel Neuer and are unable to call on Mats Hummels, while both Pepe and Raphal Varane are injured for Madrid. Former Bara player Thiago Alcntara will be particularly keen to continue what has been a sensational season for him, and his head-to-head with Toni Kroos pitting two of the continents best passers against each another should be one to savour. The German has a 91.4% accuracy in the Champions League this season, while Thiagos is higher still at 92.6%.

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Premier League team of the week

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La Liga team of the week

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Bundesliga team of the week

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Serie A team of the week

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Ligue 1 team of the week

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Liga NOS team of the week

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Championship team of the week

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2017/apr/11/champions-league-juventus-barcelona-dortmund-monaco-madrid-leicester-bayern