UCL Preview - Fireworks in Germany and France today

By Daily Sports on April 6, 2016

Views: 976

Real Madrid and Wolfsburg are coming from vastly differing backgrounds ahead of their first meeting in Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg in Germany. 

Ten-time winners Madrid are on a six-game winning run, the latest a morale-boosting come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Barcelona in Saturday's "clasico" while reduced to 10 men that ended their old rival's unbeaten streak at 39 games across all competitions. 

Wolfsburg slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen on Friday, their third Bundesliga game without a win, leaving the side seven points off the last Champions League qualification place after a lacklustre domestic season. 

Not only recent history is against the Volkswagen-backed club. Wolfsburg, in the knock-out stages for the first time, are playing their first-ever European Cup quarter-final. Madrid will be in featuring in their 33rd.

Despite recent good form, Madrid's best chance to salvage an otherwise disappointing season remains in the Champions League. Zinedine Zidane's side are still third in La Liga, seven points behind Barcelona, who also have a better head-to-head record. 

With both teams desperate to cement themselves among Europe's elite, Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Parc des Princes is of immense significance to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.

Having already wrapped up their domestic league title and with home advantage for the maiden Champions League tie between the two, the French club are seen as favourites, but with a strong squad to choose from, Manuel Pellegrini's men will be no pushovers.

Laurent Blanc will have to make do without star midfielder Marco Verratti, who has been out of action since February, as well as Javier Pastore, who is struggling with a calf issue.

Angel Di Maria returns to the fold, though, having sat out the weekend's 4-1 win over Nice, while disgraced right-back Serge Aurier is part of the squad again after some time on the sidelines for criticising coach Laurent Blanc in a video on social media.

Edinson Cavani was relegated to the bench for Sunday's Ligue 1 win and is expected to miss out on a starting spot on Wednesday, with Lucas Moura likely to be chosen ahead of him.




Source Daily Sports

Posted April 6, 2016

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