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In this main listening report we look ahead to this week’s 2014 Champions League quarter-finals. The eight teams vying for the semi-final spots are made up of three Spanish teams, two each from England and Germany as well as one from France. This report is a shortened version of the regular weekly podcast. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and you can read the transcript below with key vocabulary explained at the bottom of the post.
Main Listening Report: 2014 Champions League Quarter-finals
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich
No side has retained the Champions League trophy since way back in 1990 but last season’s winners Bayern Munich are this season’s favourites, so Pep Guardiola’s side may indeed emulate AC Milan’s feat from 24 years ago. The German side have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title with seven games to spare (a record) – and are also unbeaten in their domestic league for over 50 games – another record. Manchester United, on the other hand, have struggled this season as they come to terms with life without their former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, while they will also be without star striker Robin Van Persie for both legs of this quarter-final. The first leg at Old Trafford will favour the Germans as they seek an important away goal, while the experience of their manager in high-profile European ties should also stand them in good stead. Prediction: A German victory.
FC Barcelona vs Atlético de Madrid
An all-Spanish quarter-final that features the current top two in La Liga promises to be a real tight affair. They have already met three times this season and all three games have ended in draws. Barcelona are trying to reach their seventh Champions League semi-final in a row – they have won the trophy three times during that period – while Atlético are aiming to reach their first final since 1974. The Madrid side have a slight advantage in that they will play the second leg at home but Barcelona have the world’s greatest player in their ranks and their European experience should see them through. Prediction: Barcelona – but only just.
Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid are hoping to gain some revenge for last season’s semi-final defeat to German side Dortmund as ‘los Blancos‘ aim to win their tenth continental title. Dortmund currently lie in second place in the Bundesliga but they are more than 20 points behind leaders Munich, while Madrid are third in La Liga; four points adrift of the leaders Atlético Madrid. Madrid should have too much for Jurgen Klopp’s side this time round, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema recently hitting top form. Prediction: Real Madrid to win fairly comfortably.
Paris Saint-Germain vs Chelsea
Despite being two of the continent’s biggest spenders, PSG and Chelsea are regarded as dark horses for this year’s tournament. The French side have never won this competition before but with Ibrahimovic enjoying a fantastic season in Ligue 1 they will fancy their chances against a somewhat inconsistent Chelsea side. Their boss Jose Mourinho has won the trophy twice before with two different sides – one of only four men to do so – and he would love to become only the second manager to win it three times. Prediction: Paris to spoil Jose’s dream.
Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain to reach the last four but do not rule out Chelsea or Atlético Madrid just yet.
retained the Champions League trophy: Won the trophy again the following year
they come to terms with: Understand; start to comprehend something
stand them in good stead: Help them; aid them
adrift of: Behind; (4 points behind the leaders)
do not rule out: Do not underestimate
are regarded as dark horses: Seen as teams with a good chance of winning
a tight affair: A close game
in their ranks: In their team
should see them through: They should qualify
big spenders: They have spent more money than other teams
they will fancy their chances : They think they will have a good chance of winning