Craig Moore’s Champions League Quarter-Finals Preview: Monaco v Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona v Juventus

Barcelona v Juventus | Thursday, April 20, 4.45am (AEDT), Camp Nou

I don’t think Barcelona can produce that magic from their PSG win in such a short space of time again. 

Juventus certainly won't allow them back in easily, if at all. 

But the beauty of our game is it can still happen. 

Paulo Dybala (pictured above) can actually get some joy in this game.

Barcelona will be on the front foot chasing the game, but that will leave an opportunity for the Juventus striker. He doesn’t need many chances either.

The Italians don’t park the bus anymore, but they still know how to limit opportunities for opponents and strangle a game.

They’ll be ready for the early push and know this is when they need to be at their best.

Conceding if that were to happen doesn’t mean they panic.

The chances will be there in the game and an away goal for Juve means lights out for Barca.

KEY BATTLE: Lionel Messi v Gianluigi Buffon

The little wizard against the older magician.

Messi will work Buffon (pictured above) over time I have no doubt.

The big Italian can come up with the stops and help his team through to the semi-finals.

The Verdict 

Barcelona will give their all, which we expect, but I feel the momentum isn’t with them and they’ll bow out of the UCL.

Juventus can frustrate and then go on with the job here.

Unibet Odds: Barcelona 1.56 Draw 4.70 Juventus 5.85

Tip: Barcelona 

Correct score: Barcelona 2-0

Monaco v Borussia Dortmund | Thursday, April 20, 4.45am (AEDT), Stade Louis II

Monaco have been a revelation in this competition and a joy to watch.

They have such great attacking players who have been around or just breaking through.

Threats and goals have got them where they are in this competition and put them in a great position here to qualify.

 After conceding two goals to Dortmund in the first leg, Monaco can be better defensively, but they’ve shown they can go blow for blow with the very best.

They might concede but they score more, so for the neutral, it’s fantastic to watch. 

The Dortmund bus explosion is a difficult situation.

I haven’t experienced anything like this, so I must be careful with my words.

These moments unfortunately, will be played repeatedly for these players for the rest of their lives.

Dortmund player Nuri Sahin spoke recently and he spoke perfectly about the love for our game, but more importantly the love for life.

The performance can go either way really. 

KEY BATTLE: Sokratis Papastathopoulos v Kylian Mbappe Lottin

The ferocious defending of Sokratis (pictured above left) will certainly be a test for the young Monaco man.

Mbappe Lottin (pictured above right) has played 18, scored 18 and is 18 years of age.

Can he win this battle against the experienced defender and see Monaco through to the semis?

Big ask, but he’s red hot at the moment and I expect Monaco to win this one, so I’ll side with the youngster.

The Verdict

Monaco at home will be too strong and create enough chances to score the goals that should put this tie beyond Dortmund’s reach.

Dortmund will fight and not give an inch, but this looks to be a task that is too big.

Unibet Odds: Monaco 3.00 Draw 4.15 Borussia Dortmund 2.22

Tip: Monaco 

Correct score: Monaco 3-1 

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