success breeds successThe first legs of the 2015 Champions League quarter-finals take place this week and in this post we look at the four ties that will determine the four semi-finalists. You can find vocabulary support (in bold) at the foot of the post.

2015 Champions League Quarter-Finals

We are down to the last eight in Europe’s premier competition and in this post we preview the four quarter-finals and offer a prediction or two!

Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid

Champions LeagueA repeat of last year’s final sees Atletico, who came so close to winning their first ever Champions League/European Cup title, take on crosstown rivals and ten-time winners Real Madrid. AtlĂ©tico’s coach Diego Simeone will be looking for revenge for that defeat in Lisbon last May although his side are unbeaten in six matches against Real this season – a bogey side of sorts. Real were beaten in four of those games and this will surely have an effect on how they perform in the first leg at AtlĂ©tico’s Vicente CalderĂłn Stadium. I’m going for a 1-1 draw in this one with Simeone’s men to scrape through to the last four.

Juventus vs AS Monaco

In the previous round, Arsenal fans were delighted to have been drawn against French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco; seeing them as the weakest side left in the competition. However, a chastening 3-1 home first-leg defeat lead to the Londoners being dumped out of the tournament. Serie A leaders Juventus will surely not be as overconfident as Arsenal and should see off Monaco though they will have to break down one of the best defenses in Europe. With the Italian title all but won, Juventus can focus all their attention on this tie and with Pogba, Morata and Tevez in their side they should have enough for Jardim’s Monaco.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Barcelona

The home side will be without star striker Ibrahimovic after his sending off against Chelsea in the previous round, while they will also be missing Brazilian defender David Luis and their absences will offer Barcelona hope of gaining an advantage in the first leg. Barca’s front three of Messi, Neymar and Suarez will test the Parisian back four, though the Catalan side have already been defeated there this season when the two sides met in the group stage. The teams also met at this stage of last year’s competition when Messi and co. only went through on away goals. I am not sure it will be as close this year with Barcelona to win in Paris and then progress to the semi’s.

FC Porto vs Bayern Munich

With six first-teamers out of the squad through injury, Bayern Munich have something of an injury crisis before their game away in Porto. They should still have enough to defeat a Porto side that is on a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions and will be buoyed by a partizan crowd. Bayern blitzed Shakhtar 7-0 in the last round and while it will not be as easy against the Portuguese side, expect Bayern to be in the draw for the semi-finals.

Vocabulary support

We are down to the last eight: We have reached the quarter-final stage

take on crosstown rivals: Will play their city rivals

a bogey side: A team that another team finds hard to defeat

to scrape through: To just about make it

chastening: Humiliating; left them feeling embarrassed

being dumped out of: Crashed out of; they were beaten in a game that they should not have lost

see off: Defeat

to break down one of the best defenses: To overcome the defence

title all but won: Juventus have almost wrapped up the title

back four: Defence

Messi and co.: Barcelona (Messi and his team mates)

on away goals.: The two teams scored the same amount of goals but Barcelona scored more away than PSG

first-teamers: Players who would appear in the starting eleven

will be buoyed by a partizan crowd: The home fans are very supportive and will make it difficult for Bayern

blitzed: thrashed; trounced

If you want to know more about a particular area of football language leave a comment below. You can also subscribe here to receive our selection of football clichés and of course you can check out our huge list of football vocabulary here.

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