The UEFA Champions League determines the best soccer club in Europe. The quality of play is even higher than the World Cup because the club teams practice together regularly.
Due to the global pandemic, all remaining games will be single-elimination contests played in Lisbon, Portugal, instead of the usual two-game home-and-home format. Here is the quarterfinal schedule:
Atalanta vs PSG Wed 8/12 at 3:00 PM EST Live Stream: CBS All Access
RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid Thu 8/13 at 3:00 PM EST Live Stream: CBS All Access
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich Fri 8/14 at 3:00 PM EST Live Stream: CBS All Access
Manchester City vs Lyon Sat 8/15 at 3:00 PM EST Live Stream: CBS All Access
Get one month free of CBS All Access here.
Odds to Win
Manchester City +220
The Champions League has not been kind to City over the years. They went out earlier than expected the past three seasons, often losing in
devastating fashion. There is no love lost between City fans and the UEFA organizing body. UEFA had imposed a two-year Champions League ban on Manchester City, which was recently overturned upon appeal.
They finished second behind Liverpool in the Premier League this season, ending a two-year title streak in the domestic league. They play an exciting brand of football featuring midfielder Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium. If you are looking for an exciting team to watch, City is my pick. They also caught a break not having to play Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus team in the quarterfinals after Juventus was stunned by Lyon in the round of 16. Manchester City’s record-breaking Premier League 2017-2018 season was captured by an Amazon Prime (think Hard Knocks) documentary.
Bayern Munich +325
The five-time Champions League winners have been on fire since coming back from the Covid-19 break in May, winning the German Bundesliga by a dominant 13 points. That breeze to victory has allowed them to rest and prepare for the Champions League. Superstar Robert Lewandowski has been leading the charge.
They also won the German Cup (also known as the DFB Pokal), so a Champions League title would give them the coveted treble, achieved by winning the domestic league, domestic tournament, and Champions League all in the same year. Bayern Munich accomplished this back in 2013.
They won the French League 1 title for the third straight season. 21-year old Kylian Mbappé has been dealing with an injury but hopes to be fit enough to give it a go in the quarterfinals. He helped lead France to the World Cup title back in 2018, scoring four goals, including this one in the final.
He is the second most expensive player ever, behind only PSG teammate Neymar.
Atletico Madrid +800
Back in March, they eliminated the tournament favorite (and defending champions) Liverpool in the round of 16. Atletico scored three goals in overtime to pull off the stunning victory.
The thrill of victory:
And the agony of defeat:
Atletico has never won the Champions League, but has finished runner-up three times. Who can forget their 2016 loss in the finals to rival Real Madrid on penalty kicks where Cristiano Ronaldo scored the game-winner for Real Madrid.
The five-time Champions League winners have not been in top form lately. They failed to win La Liga for the first time since 2017, finishing second to Real Madrid. Their attack is led by the brilliant Lionel Messi, the controversial Luis Suarez, and 2018 world cup champion Antione Griezmann, of France. Messi is one of the top players ever. Check out this amazing goal scored in the round of 16.
The highest scoring team in Italy’s Serie A, Atalanta is making their first appearance in the Champions League. They have exceeded expectations and are confident they can pull the upset over PSG. Atalanta’s total payroll is a fraction of what PSG pays their top stars. With their aggressive, attacking style and underdog status, they are playing with house money. If they win, should we change the name to Catlanta?!
RB Leipzig +1700
They finished 3rd in the German Bundesliga and knocked out Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 of the Champions League way back in March.
They finished 7th in France’s League 1 but are on a roll after upsetting Juventas in the round of 16. The aggregate score of the two games finished 2-2 but Lyon went through on UEFA’s quirky and controversial “away goals” rule. If you have some free time, google “away goals rule” and you will be happy American sports don’t use this terrible format.
Who you got?