Bayern, Juventus clash in Champions League; Barca confident

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 14, 2016 10:40 AM
Bayern, Juventus clash in Champions League; Barca confident
Bayern's Thiago, center, hugs teammate Kingsley Coman after scoring his side's fifth goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and SV Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Saturday, March 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press


BERLIN (AP) — The last four Champions League quarterfinal spots are up for grabs this week with Barcelona and Manchester City both well-placed, while a European heavyweight will head for the exit after Bayern Munich plays Juventus.

Five-time champion Bayern was looking certain to advance from the Round of 16 with a two-goal lead during the first leg in Turin, only for late goals from Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro to earn Juventus a 2-2 draw and revive the Italian league leader's hopes for Wednesday's second leg in Munich.

Spanish league leader Barcelona holds a 2-0 lead over Arsenal, which needs to get over the disappointment of Sunday's FA Cup exit to Watford, the 2-1 defeat at home ending its bid to win the trophy for a third straight year.

Barcelona hasn't lost in a total of 37 games straight across all competitions, a Spanish record, and can count on home support on Wednesday.

Manchester City is in a similarly comfortable position ahead after beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 away in their last-16 first leg, while Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven are scoreless ahead of Tuesday's other game.

Here are some things to know ahead of the last Round of 16 games:

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BAYERN MUNICH-JUVENTUS

Bayern hopes to finish the job at home after conceding late goals to Juventus and allowing the two-time champion back in the tie.

Bayern has won its last three games at home against Italian sides, and has looked unstoppable this season in Munich, winning its three group games against Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal and Olympiakos by an aggregate score of 14-1.

Pep Guardiola's side warmed up for Juve's visit with a 5-0 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday, when Arjen Robben had a rest and Mario Goetze made his comeback after five months out with a thigh injury.

"I believe we showed today that we're in quite good form," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "I'd say we're looking with optimism at Wednesday."

Juve defeated Sassuolo 1-0 at home on Friday, the side's 10th consecutive league game without conceding.

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BARCELONA-ARSENAL

Barcelona is bidding for its 10th straight win at home in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Even a draw at the Camp Nou, where it hasn't lost in more than a year, will be enough to keep the Catalan club on track to become the first side to defend the Champions League since the old European Cup was given a shake-up in 1992-93.

"It won't be an easy game at all," said Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, a former Arsenal player. "Although we have a small lead, you can never say that they are out. They have very quick players and that makes them dangerous. We'll need to concentrate."

Barcelona's last home defeat was against Malaga in February 2015.

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MANCHESTER CITY-DYNAMO KIEV

Manchester City is on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time, in a season when its domestic form is starting to go off the rails.

Nine points off the lead in the Premier League, it appears the rest of this season boils down to success in the Champions League.

City produced one of its best displays of the season to beat Dynamo 3-1 in the first leg, making the English team a heavy favorite to advance — especially since Dynamo has never won in England.

The last time Dynamo reached the quarterfinals was in 1999, when Sergei Rebrov — the team's current coach — was leading its attack.

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ATLETICO MADRID-PSV EINDHOVEN

Atletico is bidding to reach the quarterfinals for the third straight season and is coming off a scoring streak of nine goals in its last three games. It has won four in a row in the Spanish league.

PSV captain Luuk de Jong returns from his one-match suspension and hopes to lead the team to its first victory in Spain in 13 games. Following the scoreless first leg in Eindhoven, however, a score draw also would be enough to send PSV through.

Recent history is against Phillip Cocu's team. PSV failed to win any of its three away matches so far this Champions League campaign, losing at CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg and securing a goalless draw at Manchester United.

Tuesday's game comes days before what is likely to be the decisive match in the Dutch Eredivisie next weekend, between PSV and Ajax.

"We have shown in the past we can play well in big matches," De Jong said. "We have to do it again in these two games."

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Steve Douglas contributed from Manchester, England; Tales Azzoni from Madrid; and Mike Corder from Amsterdam.

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