18+ | Please play responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial Content

UEFA Champions League: Who Will Compete in the Quarter-finals?

Karim Benzema goal Liverpool UCL R16
Karim Benzema and Real Madrid got the perfect result at Anfield Road in the first leg of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League Round of 16, beating Liverpool 2-5 – Tuesday 21st February 2023. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

The draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League is set to take place on 17 March. The RO16 games should have got completed a day earlier. Bayern, Benfica, Chelsea, and Milan have already qualified for the QFs.

The following 2nd leg RO16 matches are yet to take place:

  • Manchester City vs Leipzig
  • Porto vs Inter
  • Real Madrid vs Liverpool
  • Napoli vs Frankfurt

Based on the first leg results, I expect the following teams to qualify for the QFs:

  • Real Madrid (5-2 up versus Liverpool),
  • Napoli (2-0 up versus Frankfurt),
  • Inter (1-0 up versus Porto)

I would also add Man City to the list. City drew 1-1 versus Leipzig in the first leg. However, the second leg will be a home game at the Etihad. I expect City to prevail.

So, in my view, the eight quarter finalists will probably be Bayern Munich, Benfica, Chelsea, Milan, Real Madrid, Napoli, Inter, and Man City.

How the Teams Have Fared in the RO16

Bayern Munich vs PSG (Aggregate 3-0)

Bayern took a vital 1-0 lead in their first leg RO16 game against PSG. In the second leg, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting latched onto a ball — lost by Marco Veratti — to score in the 61st minute. That goal appeared to take the wind out of PSG’s effort. In the event, Bayern added one more goal in the dying minutes on the back of a strike by Serge Gnabry.

Benfica vs Club Brugge (Aggregate 7-1)

In January, Chelsea poached Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez. However, Benfica did not let the midfielder’s absence hurt their chances against Club Brugge. They led the first leg 2-0 on the back of 2nd half goals by J Mario and D Neres Campos. If the first leg was impressive, the second was an absolute massacre. After Rafa Silva gave them the lead, Ramos scored twice. Mario and Neres made it 5-0 before Bjorn Meijer got a consolation goal for Brugge.

Real Madrid vs Liverpool (5-2 ahead in the first leg)

Real Madrid’s glorious history in the Champions League needs no introduction. The defending champions have not set the La Liga on fire this season. However, after their brilliant performance at Anfield versus Liverpool, they are my favourites to win the Champions League. Within the first quarter hour, Liverpool were 2-0 up on the back of goals by Darwin Nunez and Salah. Vinicius Junior scored a brace to bring Real Madrid level before the interval. In the end it was a come-from-behind 5-2 win. It is hard to see how Liverpool can recover from a three-goal deficit.

Napoli vs Frankfurt (2-0 ahead in the first leg)

Napoli have been unstoppable this season in the Serie A. Rival defences have found the destructive duo of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen impossible to contain. Osimhen gave his side the lead in the first leg against Frankfurt before Giovanni di Lorenzo’s slick finish made it 2-0. Which side will be unlucky enough to face Luciano Spalletti’s wards in the quarter-finals?

Inter Milan vs Porto (1-0 ahead in the first leg)

Romelu Lukaku continues to baffle his critics. He was benched for the game versus Porto after being called “overweight” by Inter CEO Moratta. Stunningly, Lukaku came off the bench to score the match winner. While Porto will not be pushovers in the second leg, Inter have struck the first psychological blow.

Man City vs Leipzig (1-1 level in the first leg)

Mahrez gave City the lead on 27 minutes only for Gvardiol to level the score on 70 minutes. Erling Haaland has enjoyed extraordinary goal scoring form in the English Premier League. However, his first knockout game versus Leipzig was disappointing. All eyes will be on Haaland after the 1-1 stalemate versus Leipzig when City host Leipzig in the second leg.

AC Milan vs Tottenham (1-0 aggregate)

AC Milan, who took a 1-0 lead in the 1st leg, qualified for the quarter-final with a goalless draw away at Tottenham. It was the Rossoneri’s 5th clean sheet in six matches. They owed it to their brilliant backline consisting of Kalulu, Tomori and Thiaw. Late in the game, Harry Kane was denied by goalkeeper Maignan who made a brilliant save.

Winner Site Odds
Manchester City
Bayern Munich
Real Madrid
SSC Napoli
Paris Saint-Germain
Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan
RB Leipzig
FC Porto
Club Bruges
Eintracht Frankfurt
Odds are subject to change. Last updated August 28, 2023 1:13 pm.


As the table above shows, Manchester City are bookmakers’ favourites to win the UEFA Champions League. I personally believe that defending champions Real Madrid are best equipped to add a 15th title in June 2023.