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Champions League quarterfinal predictions

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UEFA Champions League action returns on Tuesday and Wednesday as we are down to the final eight teams in Europe’s elite club competition.

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Three La Liga teams remain, plus two from the Bundesliga, one from Ligue 1, Serie A and Leicester City from the Premier League.

With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at the ties with Atletico clashing with Leicester, Juventus slugging it out with Barcelona, reigning UCL champs Real Madrid up against Bayern Munich and Dortmund facing Monaco with plenty of goals expected.

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Below you will find score predictions on how all four quarterfinals encounters will play out over the two legs.


Atletico Madrid vs. Leicester City 
First leg in Madrid: April 12, 2:45 p.m. ET
Second leg in Leicester: April 18, 2:45 p.m. ET

The Foxes will fancy their chances of repeating their exploits against Sevilla in the last round. Leicester went to Spain and nabbed a vital away goal on the break and then followed that up with a typically committed display under the lights at the King Power Stadium. Yet, facing Atleti is easily their toughest challenge in the UCL to date. With Antoine Griezmann in fine form and Diego Simeone’s fine-tuned machine humming along nicely in recent weeks, the Spanish side could be out of sight before the second leg. Leicester will hang in there but Atletico’s star power will prove too much. 3-1 to Atletico Madrid on aggregate. 


Juventus vs. Barcelona
First leg in Turin: April 11, 2:45 p.m. ET
Second leg in Barcelona: April 19, 2:45 p.m. ET

If you thought PSG vs. Barca was fun in the last round (well, the second leg was absolutely nuts) then this should take things to another level. The Italian and Spanish giants collide with plenty of superstars on show and Barcelona will feel they are destined to go all the way after their amazing comeback win against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16. Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Gianluigi Buffon will have other ideas as Juve aim to get revenge for their defeat to Barca in the 2015 final in Berlin. Barca’s shock defeat in La Liga at the weekend suggests they’re focused on success in the UCL and with Luis Enrique leaving at the end of the season he seems to be putting all his eggs in one basket. That may well see Barca come unstuck in the first leg but at home they can achieve the impossible with Messi, Suarez and Neymar in full flow. Expect Barca to sneak through in a classic encounter. 3-2 to Barcelona on aggregate. 


Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid
First leg in Munich: April 12, 2:45 p.m. ET
Second leg in Madrid: April 18, 2:45 p.m. ET

Another clash of European giants has neutrals salivating with the leaders of both the Bundesliga and La Liga colliding. Zinedine Zidane’s men are the reigning champs but this will be a huge test of their credentials as former boss Carlo Ancelotti guided Bayern past Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate in the last round. With Robert Lewandowski in fine form, Bayern will look to take the game to Real in the first leg but must be wary of getting countered with the pace of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo on the break. You get the sense that although Bayern has looked unstoppable in spells this season, the challenge of a fired up Real may be a little too much. 4-2 to Real Madrid on aggregate.


Borussia Dortmund vs. AS Monaco
First leg in Dortmund: April 11, 2:45 p.m. ET
Second leg in Monaco: April 19, 2:45 p.m. ET

Fans of U.S. soccer are hoping and praying Christian Pulisic plays a leading role in leading Borussia Dortmund to a UCL semifinal. They may get their wish. That said, Monaco’s free-flowing style of soccer has wowed France, and most of Europe, as they breezed past Tottenham and Manchester City but they do take risks defensively. Dortmund’s talented attackers in Aubameyang, Pulisic and Dembele will have plenty of chances but you get the sense that everyone continues to underestimate Monaco. Expect Falcao, Mbappe and Lemar to make the difference for the French club. If this turns into a goal-fest (that’s what we are all hoping for, isn’t it?) then Monaco will prevail. 5-4 to Monaco on aggregate.

Pochettino: “Challenge is to keep going” ahead of North London Derby

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Mauricio Pochettino was thrilled to see Tottenham Hotspur’s title push continue with a win over in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Spurs won 1-0 on a beautiful Christian Eriksen goal from distance, moving back to within four points of Premier League leading Chelsea.

[ RECAP: Palace 0-1 Spurs ]

Pochettino’s men didn’t stop fighting for the winner despite relentless fight from the home side, with improving mettle on display this season.

“Unbelievable. Very good performance. I think second half we played much better than in the first half. It was difficult in the first half for us to move the ball and find the space but we changed the shape at half time and it was more fluid, we started to find the space and started to push Palace deeper and deeper.”

After two tough London Derbies — Spurs fell 4-2 to Chelsea in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal — Tottenham now has the big one: a visit from Arsenal in the North London Derby.

“It was good to get the three points and be alive in the race for the title. The challenge is to keep going. It is always better to win but it is true [the Arsenal game] is a big derby, perhaps the last at White Hart Lane and I think it will be an exciting game.”

We’re ready for it. Spurs will be favored to pick up all three points, but all bets are off when it comes to the NLD. That’s especially true considering the ticking Top Four clock for Arsenal and the title fight for Spurs.

Palace 0-1 Spurs: Eriksen saves the day

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  • Sakho stretchered off
  • Eriksen rescues title hope
  • Spurs four back of Chelsea

Palace made them work for it.

Tottenham Hotspur didn’t exactly sends chills down the spine of Chelsea with its performance, but Spurs found a way past tricky and in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday at Selhurst Park.

Christian Eriksen‘s pretty goal sealed the three points for Spurs, who have five matches to chase down four points from the Blues.

Palace sits 12th, seven points clear of 18th place Swansea City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Two in-forms started with confidence, Harry Kane lashing wide of the frame for Spurs and Wilfried Zaha driving Palace on the right wing.

Another in-form Eagles attacker, Christian Benteke, did well to create space and hit a low shot that forced Hugo Lloris to ground.

Victor Wanyama was on yellow when he slid to intercept Andros Townsend, taking the Englishman to the turf. Jon Moss gave Wanyama a harsh warning, but did not produce the red card.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min were called upon soon after the break to liven up Spurs attack.

The substitution that stood to shake up the match was Palace center back Mamadou Sakho, who was hurt with about 40 minutes to play.

Eriksen stung a shot across goal for the eventual winner, a rare moment of class from a three-match day that didn’t quite fit the standard of the Premier League.

Arsenal 1-0 Leicester City: Only an own goal

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  • Chances at a premium
  • Monreal forces Huth own goal
  • Arsenal moves sixth
  • Foxes six clear of drop

Nacho Monreal‘s desperate shot ricocheted off Robert Huth‘s chest and gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Entertainment value wasn’t high over the course of the match, as Arsenal had trouble piercing Leicester’s congested back four.

Arsenal is now three points back of Manchester United and four behind Man City before Thursday’s Manchester Derby.

Leicester is six points clear of 18th and has played one less game than most of the teams chasing them.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal had most of the ball to start the match, but needed to make the first big stop. Petr Cech kept the match goalless when he flew to stop a left-footed whip from Riyad Mahrez.

At the other end, Mesut Ozil set up Theo Walcott for a chance that prodded a solid save from Kasper Schmeichel.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Wilfried Ndidi was again a monster in the middle third for Leicester, arguably the main reason the Foxes have rebounded from their relegation plight.

Arsenal had a chance pushed away from danger by Robert Huth after Alexis Sanchez misjudged his time on the ball in front of goal in the 56th minute.

Schmeichel then dove to slap away a deflected Francis Coquelin shot.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Laurent Koscielny went down in pain after landing awkwardly in the 79th minute, leaving a gap in space that Shinji Okazaki would’ve exploited were it not for a block from Gabriel Paulista.

Leicester’s Yohan Benalouane should’ve seen red with 10 minutes to play following a leaping boot to the back of Olivier Giroud, but only a foul was given.

Ndidi made a sliding intervention on Mesut Ozil in the 85th minute, another terrific bit of work from the Nigerian.

That’s when Huth’s unlucky moment lifted Arsenal to the lead.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Sunderland: Derby honors and a bit of life

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  • Boro’s first PL win since Dec. 17
  • Smoggies move within six of 17th
  • Sunderland on verge of relegation

Marten De Roon snared Middlesbrough new hope at safety and a derby win as Boro scored early to complete a season sweep of Tees-Wear Derby rivals Sunderland on Wednesday.

The 1-0 win means Sunderland is 12 points back of 17th place Hull City with five matches to play. Hull has four matches left.

For Boro, it’s six points back of Hull but a devastating run-in that includes Man City, Chelsea, Southampton, and Liverpool.

The win was USMNT backstop Brad Guzan‘s second of the Premier League season, the first coming in the reverse fixture.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

De Roon tilted the Tees-Wear Derby to Boro’s side with an opening goal that could signal the end of Sunderland’s slim safety hopes.

Stewart Downing tempted 2-0 with a hard low shot that Jordan Pickford did very well to save with a leg.

Sunderland did find a bit of danger when Didier N’Dong forced Brad Guzan into a save, but Billy Jones nodded over the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]