Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Premier League In Europe

The Champions League quarterfinals feature two glamour matches involving Premier League sides on Tuesday. Arsenal is home to legendary German power Bayern Munich, a side which is not creating any new positive legends this season. The most recent setback in a season of failures for Manager Thomas Tuchel came when the defending Bundesliga champions squandered a two-goal advantage in losing to 10th place Heidenheim. Bayern’s sixth loss of the Bundesliga season left them 16 points behind German table leader Bayer Leverkusen. Elimination from the Champions League will mean a season without silverware for the proud German side. Thomas Tuchel, a Champions League winning manager at Chelsea, has already jointly announced with the club that he will be leaving after this season. The only bright spot for Bayern Munich has been the play of former Premier League star Harry Kane. The Englishman has banged in 38 goals so far across all competitions in his first season in Germany. Tuesday the former Tottenham Hotspur star will lead his current struggling side against Spurs’ archrival Arsenal. The Gunners enter quarterfinal play in the Champions League for the first time since 2010. Manager Mikel Arteta’s side is flying high after moving into the Premier League’s top spot over the weekend.

Manchester City, the defending Champions League title holder, will be pitted against the competition’s all time serial winner in Real Madrid, the Spanish side having won the competition a record 14 times. Manchester City eliminated Real Madrid in last year’s semifinals enroute to the club’s first Champions League trophy. Real Madrid has rebuilt itself this season, however, once again leading La Liga after losing the title to rival Barcelona last season. Englishman Jude Bellingham has joined Brazilian Vinicius Junior as the key triggermen for the revamped Los Blancos.

Liverpool hosts Atalanta in a Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday at Anfield where the Italians scored a Champions League group stage win in 2020. Atalanta is running sixth in Serie A this season, 32 points behind rampaging league leader Inter Milan.

West Ham will have its hands full on Thursday in a Europa League quarterfinal match at Bayer Leverkusen. The German side is running away with the Bundesliga this season in its second year under the direction of Manager Xavi Alonso. Alonso was hotly rumored to be heading to Liverpool as Klopp’s replacement but has affirmed that he will be back in Germany next year. West Ham will likely be without forward Jarrod Bowen who was injured in the win over Wolverhampton this weekend. Aston Villa, meanwhile, will host French side Lille in a European Conference League quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. Lille are currently running fourth in Ligue 1.  

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