Champions League picks, predictions, schedule: Experts like Barcelona over PSG, and Atletico Madrid to advance

The UEFA Champions League quarterfinals resume on Tuesday and if they are anything like last week’s first legs, a series of entertaining games are on the way.

Only two teams – Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – enter the second leg with an advantage, but for each of them, it’s a narrow one. Barcelona host Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after winning the first leg 3-2, setting up a high-stakes encounter at the Camp Nou that could serve as Kylian Mbappe’s final Champions League appearance for the French champions. Atleti, meanwhile, travel to Borussia Dortmund with a 2-1 lead after taking advantage of the German side’s shaky defense early in the first leg.

On Wednesday, two deadlocked ties will end with two European giants advancing to the semifinals – and two being sent home. Manchester City’s match against Real Madrid headlines the day’s action after a thrilling 3-3 draw last week, while Arsenal travel to Bayern Munich following a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

Before the action begins, here’s a primer on each matchup and expert predictions on who will make it to the Champions League’s final four.

Don’t miss all of the Champions League storylines, and as always you can catch all of our coverage across Paramount+, CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports Golazo Network all season long.

Here’s how to watch all the games, what to know, our expert picks and more:

Quarterfinals TV schedule

All times U.S./Eastern

Tuesday’s Champions League editorial picks

Barcelona vs. PSG

By Jonthan Johnson

One matchup to watch: Pau Cubarsi vs. Goncalo Ramos — The Barca man thrived in the opening leg and contributed significantly towards a thoroughly deserved away win. However, we barely saw the PSG man as he was sent on late in the game with no real chance to influence things going forward. Expect to see more of Ramos in Catalonia — probably from the start — so Cubarsi will have his hands full for the night with the predatory Portuguese striker on the prowl.

Most likely to score a goal: Robert Lewandowski — He might not be the force that he once was but the Poland international was denied on the line by Nuno Mendes in the opening leg. Expect Lewandowski to deliver when his team needs it most and possibly seal their passage into the semifinals. Given PSG’s shaky defense, regardless of who starts, he should get a few chances to make the difference up against Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Man of the Match pick: Kylian Mbappe — It will be hard for the French superstar to be as ineffectual as he was in the first leg so expect a determined Mbappe to turn up and possibly put PSG ahead at some point. He has stunned Catalonia before and we should not totally rule him out for a repeat of that, but it seems less likely based on last week’s game. Instead, in what might be his final PSG outing in the Champions League, expect him to score once more to give Luis Enrique’s men a shout of at least sending it to extra time.

Match prediction: Barca 1-1 PSG — This one could go beyond 90 minutes but it is difficult to imagine Les Parisiens keeping a clean sheet right now. Instead, this one could go to extra time, but the Catalan giants may well just about squeeze PSG out by the end of the encounter. 

Borussia Dortmund vs. Atletico Madrid

By Pardeep Cattry

One matchup to watch: Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck vs. Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata – Dortmund dug themselves into a hole after a shaky defensive outing in the first hal ended with them 2-0 down, though Sebastien Haller’s goal means they have a shot on Tuesday. Making sure they are much more solid in the back will be a priority for Dortmund in the second leg, especially considering the firepower that Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata bring. The pair have 40-plus goals between them this season, and will be counted on to put this tie to bed for Atleti.

Most likely to score a goal: Antoine Griezmann – He has 21 goals across all competitions, including three in the team’s last five games and comes into the second leg of this tie after scoring a brace over the weekend. He’s been at the front of Atleti’s efforts all season long, so another big showing on Tuesday is very much in play.

Man of the Match pick: Antoine Greizmann – Just about every one of Atleti’s good days this season have come off the back of big showings from Griezmann, so expect the World Cup winner to take center stage in a match that could see Atleti return to the Champions League semifinals for the first time in seven years.

Match prediction: Dortmund 1, Atleti 2 – Both teams have enough talent up top to score goals, but Atleti are the favorites in this tie for a reason and considering the form a handful of their players are in, it’s hard not to pick them to advance.

Wednesday’s Champions League picks

Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal

By James Benge

One matchup to watch: Bukayo Saka vs. Noussair Mazraoui – Bayern had all sorts of difficulties quelling Arsenal’s right flank early in the first leg and that was with Alphonso Davies, not necessarily the most natural defender, but at least someone blessed with recovery pace. The Canadian is suspended for the second leg however and it would appear that Mazraoui will get the nod over Raphael Guerreiro given that he started at the weekend. Whoever it is that takes up the left back berth will be in for a trying night against Saka, who has taken to the Champions League with grace and style.

Most likely to score a goal: Harry Kane – It’s Kane against Arsenal. Whatever else happens in this game you can be almost certain that he’s scoring.

Man of the Match pick: William Saliba – The one facet that has been largely true of Arsenal’s season so far is that they have responded to setbacks impressively, whether in game (overcoming their half time deficit in the first leg) or the next time out as when they crushed Newcastle after losing to Porto. Saliba will doubtless be keen to make amends after some difficult moments in the first leg.

Match prediction: Bayern Munich 1, Arsenal 2 – This will doubtless be frenetic, explosive and tightly contested to the death. Arsenal might just have the depth off the bench to overcome a Bayern side who will be without the likes of Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman.

Man City vs. Real Madrid

By James Benge

One matchup to watch: Kyle Walker vs. Vinicius Junior – Within only a few seconds at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid were looking to spring Vinicius down the flanks and for much of the 90 minutes that followed they had a fair wedge of success doing so. Then again City didn’t have Walker, one of the best one on one defenders in the sport, in the side that day. If he can just make Vinicius’ night that bit harder then he will have gone a long way to quelling Madrid.

Most likely to score a goal: Erling Haaland – For all the debate – some valid – over the limitations Haaland’s presence in the XI places on Pep Guardiola’s side, he tends to make amends with sheer weight of goals. It might be true that Haaland has never scored against Madrid but this time out they don’t have Thibaut Courtois in the sort of spectacular form he showed in last season’s semi finals.

Man of the Match pick: Bernardo Silva – Consistently excellent though Silva may be, he has the great quality of upping his game to even higher levels on the biggest occasions. Expect him to give City the control that should see them ease clear of Madrid.

Match prediction: Manchester City 2, Real Madrid 0 – Strange things tend to happen when these two run into each other but for the most part City have proven themselves to be a superior side to Madrid, just one vulnerable to the inherent randomness of knockout football. Barring another serving of that, expect City’s quality to shine through.

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