Four absolute top posters, just as many players to look forward to: the Champions League kicks off again tonight

The Champions League kicks off again on Tuesday evening. Here’s what you need to know about the eight quarterfinalists.

Yanko Beeckman

MANCHESTER CITY BAVARIA MUNICH

Manchester City must win because…

… it finally wants to win the Champions League after all those titles and national cups. It has been twelve years now for Pep Guardiola – then with Barcelona – that he was allowed to raise the largest European cup again.

Bayern Munich must win because…

… it has already won its previous eight games. Bayern can thus break its own record of eleven consecutive victories – in the corona edition of 2019-2020. Then the Germans finally won the Champions League.

We are looking forward to this player:

Erling Haaland (22). The Norwegian is the top scorer in the Champions League with ten goals. He has potentially five more matches to break Cristiano Ronaldo’s record. The Portuguese scored no less than seventeen times for Real Madrid in 2013-2014.

Tuesday at 9 p.m

Haaland. — © AP

BENFICA-INTER

Benfica must win because…

… it can become the first Portuguese team since Porto in the 2003-2004 season to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. José Mourinho’s team also won the cup with the big ears.

Inter must win because…

… it drew the most feasible card with Benfica on paper. Inter would thus reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010-2011.

We are looking forward to this player:

Romelu Lukaku (29). Our compatriot is not having his best period – including a few blatant misses in recent weeks – but hopes to recover in the Champions League. In the 1/8th finals against Porto, he scored the only goal.

Tuesday at 9 p.m

Luke. — © ISOPIX

REAL MADRID-CHELSEA

Real Madrid must win because…

… only the Copa del Rey would be too little for a team like Real. Los Blancos can soon take the Champions League for the ninth time.

Chelsea must win because…

… the chances are otherwise very small that it will play European next season, as the Blues are only eleventh in the Premier League. Favorable omen for interim coach Frank Lampard: the previous two times Chelsea won the Champions League, they also changed coaches during the season.

We are looking forward to this player:

Thibaut Courtois (30). The Red Devil also gave Real the Champions League last season and would like to repeat that trick this season. Courtois can always do just that little bit more against his ex-club Chelsea.

Wednesday at 9 p.m

Courtois. — © REUTERS

NAPLES-AC MILAN

Napoli must win because…

… nothing is really necessary for Napoli. The Neapolitans are well on their way to winning a historic title in Serie a. Anything more in Europe is bonus.

AC Milan must win because…

… there is nothing else to gain. The Milanese can win their first Champions League since 2006-2007. Since then, Milan have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals.

We are looking forward to this player:

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (22). Because we have to learn to pronounce his name someday. ‘Kvaradona’ will be able to get out of his way for Napoli in the absence of Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian with a past at Charleroi has already been involved in thirty goals for Napoli this season, 25 of which in Serie A. In the five biggest leagues, only Erling Haaland (35) and one Lionel Messi (27) do better.

Wednesday at 9 p.m

© AP

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