Champions League: 3 storylines to look out for in this week’s fixtures

Harry Kane returning to North London

Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. The English striker has an impressive record against the Gunners, in the 19 matches he’s played against them he has netted 14 times. Kane has also had one of his most prolific goalscoring seasons ever, he has 38 goals in just 37 appearances in all competitions for his club. Despite his impressive numbers, this is the last chance that the German club have at finishing the season with any silverware following their underperformance in the Bundesliga and early knockout to a third-tier side in the DFB Pokal.

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that playing against his former rivals will be an added motivator for Kane, “He has thrived on it many times now so I don’t think he will stop tomorrow. I think it’s very enjoyable for Harry to be here against Arsenal in the quarter-final of the Champions League. I think it will make him very happy to score. I don’t see anything holding him back. I feel he is very motivated.”

Real Madrid want revenge on Manchester City

Several Spanish media outlets have highlighted the fact that Real Madrid want to put right their embarrassing exit to Manchester City last year. Pep Guardiola’s side thrashed Madrid 5-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals following a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital and a 4-0 drubbing in Manchester.

German centre back Antonio Rudiger has indicated that he wants revenge on City. The Madrid defender managed to keep Erling Haaland quiet in the first leg but was dropped for the return leg in England- a big reason why the Spanish side crumbled. He said “The first leg was a good game and we stopped  Haaland getting passes. The coach didn’t apologise (for dropping me) and he doesn’t need to, I accept it, even though it was hard to accept it”.  

Los Blancos have been handed some good news ahead of the tie as Kyle Walker has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Walker’s pace is usually helpful to deal with Vinicius Junior – which worked effectively in the second-leg at the Etihad last season as the Brazilian was the main outlet for the away side but the English right back managed to extinguish that. As well as this, the 14-time winners have been granted permission to close the roof at the Santiago Bernabeu to help keep the atmosphere in.

Kylian Mbappe’s last chance at Champions League glory with PSG

The French superstar has already confirmed that he will leaving for free at the end the season following the expiration of his contract. So this is the last chance for Mbappe to bring home the trophy that Paris Saint-Germain brought him in to do in 2017. They came close in 2020 after making it to the final but lost to Bayern Munich after academy product Kingsley Coman took the trophy from his boyhood club as he scored the only goal in the game. But it could be argued that this is the French sides best chance at finally getting the trophy they’ve become so desperate for as it is clear they have the slightly easier side of the draw. Although, it won’t be easy against Xavi’s Barcelona who haven’t lost a game since the end of January, but PSG still head into the first leg at the Parc des Princes as favourites.

Get Football | Ewan Minns

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