Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Premier League in Europe

Champions League

Champions League returns to the stage Tuesday with two quarterfinal matches involving Premier League giants. Manchester City hosts Atletico Madrid as the Spanish club returns to the city where they eliminated Manchester United in the competition’s last round. Manager Diego Simeone has Atletico Madrid third in the current La Liga table and on an eight-match unbeaten run across all competitions marred only by a draw with Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League Round of Sixteen matchup. Tuesday’s match presents a clash of styles with Manchester City’s flowing attack under Manager Pep Guardiola going up against the defensive style of Simeone’s “Mattress Makers.” Liverpool travel to Lisbon to face Benfica,  a surprising winner over Ajax in the last round. Diogo Jota is well familiar with former rival Benfica from the Portuguese international’s time with Porto. Jota has 20 goals across all competitions for Liverpool this season. Chelsea is home Wednesday to a familiar foe when they face Real Madrid. Chelsea defeated the Madridistas in the semifinals on their way to last season’s Champions League title. Fromer Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be between the sticks for Real Madrid. Former Chelsea star Eden Hazard will miss the clash for Real Madrid due to Injury while former Chelsea and current Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti did not make the trip due to Covid. Christian Pulisic could return to the lineup for Chelsea after sitting out Chelsea’s  shocking Premier League loss to Brentford over the weekend. Real Madrid enters the quarterfinals after eliminating one of this year’s tournament favorites in PSG. Karim Benzema scored a hat trick in the deciding second leg of that Round of Sixteen clash and represents a major challenge for a Chelsea’ defense which was riddled by Brentford on Saturday.  

Europa League

West Ham are in the quarterfinals of the Europa League after defeating perennial Europa League force Sevilla in the last round. The Hammers are home to French side Lyon on Thursday as they seek a fifth consecutive win across all competitions at London Stadium. Lyon edged past Poto in the last round and are currently ninth in the Ligue 1 table. Premier League followers, however, will remember Lyon’s shock defeat of Manchester City in the quarterfinals of the 2019/20 Champions League. West Ham will be facing Lyon for the first time in European competition and face a French foe in a UEFA competition for the first time this century.

Europa Conference League

Leicester is home on Thursday to face PSV in the Europa Conference League quarterfinals. Leicester backed into this round on aggregate after losing the second leg of its Round of Sixteen tie with Rennes. Manager Brendan Rogers’ Foxes have been an improved club in domestic competition, however, with the return of injured defenders Wesley Fogan, Jonny Evans, and Timothy Castagne. The Foxes are also undefeated in their last six home matches ahead of Thursday’s match at King Power Stadium. Leicester will be tested, however, by a Dutch side which is on a thirteen-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

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