The second leg of the quarter finals for this year’s prestigious UEFA Champions League are halfway through after two took place in Europe over night, and another two highly anticipated matches will kick off tonight.
The first quarter final will see Manchester United up against Bayern Munich, while the second will be an all French affair, as Lyon travel to Bordeaux.
Old Trafford will see thousands of home supporters travel to the Stadium to watch their home side sweat it out against the giant Germans, in what will no doubt be a tough battle for the Reds.
Tonight’s first quarter will see Manchester United up against Bayern Munich, while the second will see Lyon travel to Bordeaux.
Going into the match 2-1 up, the visitors will be weary of the fact United secured the crucial away goal while in the Fuball Arena München.
It is a daunting task for the visitors, travelling to one of the most elite soccer stadiums in the world, which, when full of passionate United fans is incredibly intimidating – and will certainly need to pull out all stops to succeed against the Premiership title contenders.
The two have a long term rivalry with one another – and often result in highly tense affairs, as Bayern proved last week with their last minute goal to clinch the win, or the dramatic 1999 final, when United managed the last minute goal to win the Championship.
However the home side will be slightly deflated as they face Bayern without star scorer Wayne Rooney who is still recovering from an ankle injury.
Kicking off at 8.45 pm (CET) Wednesday evening, which is 4.45am (AEST) Thursday morning, Manchester United are going into the match as favourites at $1.75, while Bayern Munich are at $4.80 to win.
The second match for the evening will be the battle between Bordeaux and Lyon at the Stade Chaban Delmas.
In what can only be described as dominance by the Lyon side in last week’s first leg, they will be travelling to the southwest of France with a 3-1 lead.
However the home side will be confident knowing they have the away goal advantage from the first leg.
Bordeaux will have to take advantage of Lyon’s loss of dominant powers Sidney Govou and Lisandro Lopez – who scored two fantastic goals last week, and the addition of their skipper Alou Diarra.
Lyon will be travelling in search of their first quarter final win, having failed at this stage three times in the past, and if they succeed will make it through to their first ever UEFA Champions League semi final.
It is certain to be a close match – reflected in the odds, with the home side slightly ahead at $2.10, while Lyon is at $3.50 when they kick off at 4.45am (AEST) on Thursday morning.
For punters looking to bet on tonight’s quarters, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now as they have a range of markets on offer – from who will be the first side to score, what the half time result will be, the winning margin and many more.
Tuesday saw the other two quarter final second legs go ahead with CSKA Moskow at home to Inter Milan, and Barcelona hosting Arsenal.
Inter may have been away from home, but as one of the more experienced European soccer sides, it was no surprise to see them come away with a clear win, beating the Russians 1-0 through an early free kick from Wesley Sneijder (agg: 0-2).
The win takes the Italians through to their first UEFA Champions League Semi final clash since 2003.
Not helping the home side – Chidi Odiah received two yellow cards, reducing CSKA to just ten men and a goal down, and they never looked like beating the fiery Italians.
Over in Spain, it was much more of a spectacular affair as the Camp Nou hosted Arsenal, and the visitors travelled to face Barcelona needing a win – never an easy task.
The defending Champions never gave the Brits a look in as Lionel Messi ran rings around the Gunners’ defence, scoring all four goals of the 4-1 mauling, taking the scoring to 6-3 on aggregate.
Scoring a hat-trick in the first half, Messi certainly sent a message to the world of soccer in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup – and the tail end of the prestigious European competition.
Arsenal started well, scoring the first goal of the match through Nicklas Bendtner’s strike, but could not sustain their form against the dominance of the European giants – who now reach their third consecutive UEFA Champions League semi final.
Inter Milan will now face Barcelona at home in the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on the 20th of April.