The second two UEFA Champions League 2011 Quarter Final 1st leg matches take place on the evening of Wednesday 6th April 2011, as Spanish giants Barcelona take on Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, while an all-England clash between Cehlsea and Manchester United is played in London.
Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
Barcelona, believed by many to be the best team in the World, take on Ukrainian outfit, Shakhtar Donetsk, at Camp Nou in this opening leg. The visitors will be hoping to return from Spain with something to play for in the home leg: an away goal has to be their target.
Barcelona, however, have some of the very best players in the world, and their midfield triumverate of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi pose a supreme threat at all times. They are also flying high in La Liga, which they lead by eight points, meaning that Pep Guardiola’s men will be well prepared for this opening leg at their imposing stadium.
Barca are also unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, however, Shakhtar won through a difficult group containing Arsenal – and suffered only one defeat on the way. In the group stages, Barcelona were apt to put in a lacklustre performance or two, most notably in drawing at home to Rubin Kazan, which must give a little hope to the Ukrainians.
If Barca get on top early, though, this two-legged tie could be over at the end of 90 minutes, so Shakhtar’s main mission will be to attempt as close to a shut-out as possible tonight.
Chelsea v Man Utd – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
An intriguing tie, which has been eagerly anticipated since the draw was made a month ago, is the two-legged quarter final between England’s Chelsea and Manchester United. This match sees the 2008 Finalists meet in the UEFA Champions League once more.
On that day, United won through, but only after a penalty shootout, and tonight’s match – indeed, this two-legged tie – is likely to be just as close.
Chelsea won the Premier League in 2009/2010, but only narrowly, by one point, from Manchester United. This season, United have pulled out an eleven point lead over the blues (who have a game in hand) after Chelsea went off the boil for a number of weeks from early December. However, of late, Chelsea have begun picking up results again, particularly since Didier Drogba has recovered from the bout of malaria he picked up early in the year.
At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea must be slight favourites, though expect United, who have exciting attacking players like Nani and Rooney bolstered by the recent return of the excellent speedy winger, Valencia, to have at least a couple of good chances to produce the important away goal tonight. This match looks like it should, on paper, finish 1-1 or 2-1 to Chelsea, but these opening leg European nights always have a potential, with an early goal, to become open games, or, conversely, to see two sides play out a cagey affair.
In other words, Chelsea v Man Utd remains a fascinating prospect, and is a tie that seems unlikely to be anything like over after this evening’s match.
UEFA Champions League 2011 Quarter Final 1st Leg Fixtures – Wedensday 6th April 2011
- Barcelona v Shakhtar Donetsk – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45
- Chelsea v Man Utd – Kick-Off (CET) 20:45