Sergio Aguero: Champions League QFs, Barcelona renaissance and EPL title race
Stake’s global representative, Sergio Aguero, says that Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid - a clash between his two former clubs - will be one of the most competitive Champions League ties he’s ever seen; why Manchester City vs Liverpool will not decide the Premier League; and Barcelona look like a happy side now as they mount their Europa League charge.
"Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid is one of the most competitive Champions League ties in years, and whoever asserts their style will progress to the semi-finals"
City have a team that has been very consistent throughout the last few seasons and they always create a lot of chances going forward. Last season we were really close and hopefully this year we'll get to final.
But first, City have got to face Simeone's squad, they're on the rise and able to put up a good fight.
We all know the determination that Atletico have, and the great support from their fans will make things difficult.
It'll be a tie where each team will try to impose their style and whoever makes that happen will make it through to the semi-finals.
It'll be one of the most competitive Champions League ties in the last few years.
All of the Champions League quarterfinals will be very close matches. These are the eight best teams in Europe and anything can happen.
You could have guessed from the start that these eight teams will have been the ones in the quarterfinals, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.
There are no easy matches in the Champions League and even less so in these knockout ties.
All the teams are heavy-hitters and from now on, every game will be played with the importance of a final.
Every team needs to focus through the whole 180 minutes and avoid any mistakes to make it through to the next round.
There are plenty of examples to draw from, like when PSG played Real Madrid, PSG dominated for most of the time in both legs, but lost it in the last few minutes and were knocked out.
All the teams are full of brilliant players that know how to turn things around in very short period of time and that makes a lot of the ties even matches, so it’s just too hard to call who is going to be able to progress.
"Manchester City vs Liverpool is a huge match but the title won’t be won or lost with one result"
Every time that Manchester City and Liverpool have played against each other in the last few seasons, there have had a huge amount of importance and are crucial for the title race.
We're talking about two teams that have dominated the Premier League landscape lately. They're both consistent, and that keeps it very tight at the top of the table.
The match at City will be key in the title race, but it’s important to remember that there are still more games ahead and anything can happen.
A result for either team will be really favourable, but don't ensure it’s a decider – anything can happen in the Premier League.
A team that is seemingly weaker can turn the tables on the biggest clubs at any time, that's the nature of the Premier League and why it's such an appealing competition all over the world.
The title is only settled on the last few games of a season. I don't think that City’s form has been going down.
You can lose points because of some minor things, but City are having a terrific season.
Their defence is hard to break through and they are always trying to score and have racked up plenty of wins.
Their rivals are always going to be right with them too, and many added strong additions in the January transfer window which has helped them play a lot better. I think this City team is committed and fighting on every front.
"Barcelona are a happy team now and they have a good chance to win the Europa League"
I see a lot of happiness at Barcelona because of how they are playing right now. They have improved a lot since Xavi's arrival and their distinctive style of play is starting to show again.
He has played a few matches as manager, but you can already see his influence. I'm very happy because I know the players well and know how much they love the club.
There's plenty of young talent with huge potential that is starting to materialise. Pedri, Gavi, Ansu [Fati], Nico González.
If you add the seasoned veterans to that, and the reinforcements that have arrived, they can dream big again – so why not aspire to take on the Europa League?
It won't be easy, and the process of this new team has just started so it'll need time to evolve, but they've already got what they need to give a good attempt at it.
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