The Champions League continues this week and three English teams are in action as Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all try to reach the semi-finals.
The first legs of the quarter-finals begin on Tuesday, with Man City and Liverpool – meeting live on sky sports in a Premier League showdown on Super Sunday – in action.
Pep Guardiola’s side will face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, while Liverpool travel to Benfica in the last eight.
On Wednesday, defending champions Chelsea host Real Madrid and Villarreal take on Bayern Munich ahead of the second leg next week.
Man City and Liverpool define 11 days
Tuesday’s matches for Man City and Liverpool mark the start of an 11-day spell that could define their seasons.
After the first legs this week, the heavyweights face off in a massive Premier League title clash on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports, looking to snatch a crucial advantage before the final run-in.
Then, after the Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday April 13, they will return to an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday April 16 at Wembley.
It could mean a team being knocked out of two cup competitions and possibly the Premier League title race in less than two weeks.
Asked about the mental side of his players in big game after big game, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp replied: “We are used to it and we enjoy it.
“At the moment it is very exciting and interesting. There is no problem with that, everything is fine. It is the situation we dreamed of if we would have dreamed of before the season. So now we are here, try to make the most of [out] of this one.”
Liverpool team news
Jurgen Klopp has a full squad to select for Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg.
Naby Keita has recovered from a knee problem which saw him sit out the 2-0 Premier League win over Watford on Saturday.
Curtis Jones and Joel Matip have suffered knocks in this contest but are also available. Trent Alexander-Arnold could be back in action after returning to the matchday squad as an unused substitute this weekend.
Will Chelsea bounce back from Brentford defeat?
Champions League holders Chelsea enter their first leg this week after a shock 4-1 loss to Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.
“Once we had [the opener] we stopped defending and gave away three goals in 10 minutes. It was very atypical and it killed the game for us,” Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said after the game.
After a relatively easy round of 16 draw with Lille, which Chelsea won 4-1 on aggregate, they face a much tougher test at 13-time Champions League winners Real Madrid.
They had a much tougher last-16 game, producing a stunning comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 on aggregate. However, a recent damaging El Clasico loss to Barcelona – losing 4-0 in La Liga – shows that Real Madrid may not be the formidable opponent the draw would suggest.
Pep: ‘Stupid’ Atleti style debate; “I never judge the opponents”
Man City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to get involved in a discussion of Atletico Madrid’s style of football ahead of their Champions League quarter-final at the Etihad.
The match was billed as a clash of styles between Guardiola’s usual fluid, possession-based approach and Atletico boss Diego Simeone’s more rudimentary tactics.
But Guardiola said: “I’m not going to talk about this stupid debate for a second. Everyone is trying to win the game.
“If they win they are right, if we win we are right. It’s for the players, the difference will be there.”
Man City team news
Manchester City are without Kyle Walker again against Atletico Madrid.
The England right-back is serving a three-match ban for being sent off in the final group game against RB Leipzig in December.
Ruben Dias is missing as he continues to treat a thigh problem, while youngster Cole Palmer (foot) is also unavailable.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were unable to overcome Atletico’s spoiling tactics in the previous round, but Guardiola refuses to call them an ugly team.
He said: “We have to do the same, defend our position. It’s part of the game. I’m not going to judge what they do, I’ll analyze what to do to get a good result to go to Madrid. next week. .
“What’s ugly? My team won at Old Trafford 1-0 and Bernardo Silva spent five minutes in the corner. It’s not ugly, it’s defending the position.
“I never judge opponents, what they do.”
Benfica’s Taarabt: I have nothing to prove
Benfica striker Adel Taarabt insists he has nothing to prove in the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool after a frustrating personal spell in English football.
The Moroccan international had stints with Tottenham, QPR and Fulham but left in 2014, initially on loan to AC Milan, before joining the Portuguese giants a year later without fully realizing his potential.
A last-eight clash against Klopp’s side once again provides an opportunity to show off his skills to an English home crowd, but Taarabt says all his efforts are geared towards winning.
“I have nothing to prove, only for me and my team. That’s all,” he said. “Of course it’s a special occasion for me because I lived in England and played there for seven years, but to prove anything? I don’t think so.
“When you play for Benfica you know every game is important. We play every game to win: it’s the Champions League quarter-final and we know it’s very important for us.”
Taarabt was asked about the prospect of facing Liverpool, who have lost just once since late December and are on a 10-match Premier League winning streak.
“We respect them but we don’t fear them,” he added. “It’s a team that’s been playing together for four or five years, so I think they have the momentum and know each other very well.
“When I played at Liverpool they were an inconsistent team, already a great team but with players coming and going. This one is stronger.”
Round of 16
tuesday 15 february
Wednesday February 16
tuesday february 22
Wednesday February 23
tuesday march 8
Wednesday March 9
tuesday march 15
Wednesday March 16
First leg matches
Tuesday, April 5
Benfica v Liverpool (8 p.m.)
Man City vs Atlético Madrid (8 p.m.)
Wednesday 6 April
Chelsea v Real Madrid (8 p.m.)
Villarreal v Bayern Munich (8 p.m.)
tuesday april 12
Bayern Munich v Villarreal (8 p.m.)
Real Madrid v Chelsea (8 p.m.)
Wednesday April 13
Atlético Madrid vs Man City (8 p.m.)
Liverpool v Benfica (8 p.m.)
Benfica/Liverpool v Villarreal/Bayern Munich
Man City/Atletico Madrid v Chelsea/Real Madrid
The first legs are scheduled to be played on Tuesday April 26 and Wednesday April 27; return matches on Tuesday 3 May and Wednesday 4 May.
Scheduled to be played on Saturday May 28 at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis.