Predictions for Champions League, Europa quarterfinals

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Things are getting very serious in the latter stages of European competition.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

This week the first legs of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League quarterfinals take place, with six Premier League teams in action.

Tottenham host Man City, Man United host Barcelona and Liverpool travel to Porto in the UCL. In the Europa League, Arsenal host Napoli and Chelsea travel to Slavia Prague.

 [ LIVE: Europa League scores

Below is a look at each quarterfinal tie and a prediction on how they will end up.


UEFA Champions League quarterfinal predictions

Ajax v. Juventus
First leg: Apr. 10, Johan Cruyff ArenA, Amsterdam
Second leg: Apr. 16, Allianz Stadium, Turin
Prediction: With Ronaldo struggling to be fit for the first leg, Ajax will have to make the most of being at home. Dusan Tadic will cause Juve problems, but the second leg being in Turin and Ronaldo back fit will be just enough for the Italian giants. 3-2 to Juventus on aggregate.

Liverpool v. FC Porto
First leg: Apr. 9, Anfield, Liverpool
Second leg: Apr. 17, Estadio Dragao, Porto
Prediction: This tie could be wrapped up after the first leg. Liverpool thumped Porto 5-0 away from home in the last 16 last season, and although Porto have improved, expect a comfortable Liverpool win. 4-1 to Liverpool on aggregate.

Manchester United v. Barcelona
First leg: Apr. 10, Old Trafford, Manchester
Second leg: Apr. 16, Nou Camp, Barcelona
Prediction: A tough task for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but you feel like United could keep things tight in the first leg. Having to switch the ties around due to Man City’s involvement in the last eight hurt them, with a second leg at Old Trafford more favorable for United. Like Chelsea did against Barcelona in the past, if they can defend and hit them on the counter, and hope that Lionel Messi has an off day, they have a chance. This will be closer than most people think. 3-2 to Barcelona on aggregate.

Tottenham v. Manchester City
First leg: Apr. 9, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Second leg: Apr. 17, Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Prediction: The first leg at Spurs’ new stadium will be tough for Man City to handle, especially after a tense FA Cup semifinal win, and it will be tight. The second leg at the Etihad will decide this, and you have to fancy Man City will advance. 4-3 to Man City on aggregate.


Arsenal v. Napoli
First leg: Apr. 11, Emirates Stadium
Second leg: Apr. 18, Stadio San Paolo
Prediction: The Gunners did not want to draw Napoli, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men the favorites to win this tournament alongside Chelsea. Arsenal will need at least a one-goal lead to take to Italy with them. Too much to ask for, and it won’t be easy in the semifinals with either Valencia or Villarreal awaiting the winners. 4-2 to Napoli on aggregate.

Benfica v. Eintracht Frankfurt
First leg: Apr. 11, Estadio da Luz
Second leg: Apr. 18, Commerzbank-Arena
Prediction: An intriguing clash between two teams littered with talented youngsters. Frankfurt have been the darlings of this tournament and look set to qualify for the Champions League next season with a top four Bundesliga finish. Their fairytale will continue. 3-1 to Frankfurt on aggregate.

Slavia Prague v. Chelsea
First leg: Apr. 11, Eden Arena
Second leg: Apr. 18, Stamford Bridge
Prediction: Chelsea will fancy their chances of finishing this tie in the first leg in the Czech Republic. Sarri’s side have used the Europa League as a release from their poor PL form this season, and the likes of Giroud and Hudson-Odoi should put on a show. Having the second leg at home is perfect, and Chelsea now either Benfica or Frankfurt await in the semis. 5-2 to Chelsea on aggregate.

Villarreal v. Valencia
First leg: Apr. 11, Estadio de la Ceramica
Second leg: Apr. 18, Mestalla
Prediction: An all-Spanish quarterfinal will be an intriguing tactical encounter, and Valencia are the favorites due to their current position in the top six of La Liga and Villarreal struggling towards the bottom. With the second leg at the Mestalla, Valencia will prevail. 3-1 to Valencia on aggregate.