The 2011-12 Champions League is nearing its final stages as the remaining eight teams contest the second legs of their quarter-final ties. Into The Top Corner predicts what may happen in the matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Barcelona v Milan @ Nou Camp
Milan may have well held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw last week, but doing the same again at Camp Nou will take a monumental effort. Milan have enough of a forward threat in the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho to cause Barca the odd problem, but there is also a reason for the Italians to be fearful at the back. The likes of Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini will have to deliver once-in-a-lifetime performance for the second time in a week if Milan are to withstand the inevitable pressure from the home side. Expect the Serie A champions to score a goal and be in the match till the last 10 mins of the game but in the end Barca will win the game easily. I also predict Messi to score two goals today.
Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Milan
Bayern Munich v Marseille @ Allianz Arena
Marseille put up a very good effort at home last week, but conceded two huge away goals. They visit the Allianz Arena with an impossible task, as Bayern have conceded two goals only once this season and never lost by more than one goal at home. Marseille will need to attack from the start if they have to get anything out the game and that will play in the hands of the German giants, who have an outstanding record in their own backyard. The hosts must not get complacent, but at the same time it will be a miracle if the Bavarians fail to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-0 Marseille
Chelsea v Benfica @ Stamford Bridge
In the first leg at the Estadio da Luz, Chelsea were not the better side at all but they did enough to get an away goal as the Portuguese missed the experience of Ezequiel Garay. For the return leg, Benfica have some more injury problem at the back, with Jardel, Luisao and Miguel Vitor all doubtful for the game in London. Jorge Jesus is expected to start with Rodrigo alongside Oscar Cardozo to add more pace to the attack, which could see Benfica hit Chelsea and score a goal on the counter, but the defensive problems will be exploited by the Blues and they will win the game. I also predict Fernando Torres – who created Kalou’s goal in the first leg – to be on the scoresheet.
Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Benfica
Real Madrid v APOEL @ Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid claimed an easy 3-0 win in the first leg away in Cyprus last week and APOEL were unable to muster a shot on target in that match. At the Bernabeu, Jose Mourinho’s men are likely to have things even more their own way. Expect the Portuguese tactician to make some changes to his side with key La Liga matches against Valencia and Atletico Madrid ahead but Real Madrid have the quality and the depth in their squad to win the game easily. I also predict Cristiano Ronaldo to continue his hot goal-scoring form of this season by scoring yet another hat-trick.
Prediction: Real Madrid 6-0 APOEL