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Boy this draw is going to need some corrective footwear, so heavily does it lean to one side. In the English corner of the bracket you have two of the top six teams in the world according to Elo ratings. On the other you have the battle of the two teams everyone wanted to draw: Atletico Madrid vs. Borussia Dortmund. 

Quarterfinals picks

  • Arsenal beat Bayern Munich
  • Manchester City beat Real Madrid
  • Atletico Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund
  • Barcelona beat Paris Saint-Germain

Semifinal Picks

  • Manchester City beat Arsenal
  • Atletico Madrid beat Barcelona  

That match might actually be an underrated treat for the neutral, given that those two teams have given up over 34 expected goals in their 16 games so far, the greater finishing power of Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata making the Spaniards slight favorites. The other quarter is coinflip stuff really, but if Frenkie De Jong and Pedri are back, as expected, then Barcelona might just carry the midfield battle over Paris Saint-Germain.

Set them against Atletico and you find yourself in the invidious position of having to pick from two teams that really do not scream "Champions League finalist". Ultimately if you're picking one team from that side of the bracket to get all the way to Wembley it's probably Atletico, maybe not the best team but the one with the most favorable path. 

What any coach on the opposite side of the bracket would give to be in Diego Simeone's shoes. The four best teams in the competition find themselves duking it out for the right to be strong favorites on June 1. Bayern Munich will feel they have plenty of avenues to get in Arsenal's head: the return of Harry Kane to north London, the spectre of three straight 5-1 defeats to the Bavarians in this competition, the fairly limited experience of Champions League nights for most of this squad. Then again if Mikel Arteta's side is fully fit then they have this competition's best defense. The forward line isn't bad either. 

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If you could be assured that Bayern would be the side who tonked Lazio then they would be favorites, but this is a side who seem even more vulnerable to variance since they decided to sack Thomas Tuchel. Arsenal, who will have a stadium free from Bayern Munich fans with 60,000 looking to outdo the racket they made against Porto, might just edge this.

Were they do so their reward would likely be Manchester City and the deepening of what promises to be England's great rivalry over the coming years. Pep Guardiola's side have the best chances to reach the semi finals, according to Twenty First Group. While that voice at the back of your brain reminds you how foolish you can look when you insist, round by round, that Real Madrid can't vibes and heritage their way to glory, it is easy to see why Carlo Ancelotti's side are outsiders. Their defense has been obliterated by injury. They are a Nacho or Antonio Rudiger knock away from smuggling a defensive midfielder into their backline.

Twenty First Group

Arsenal have proven they can beat Manchester City over 90 attritional minutes and their goal difference, expected and actual, might suggest they can overcome Guardiola over 38 games too. In a two game straight shootout though? Were they to triumph at the Etihad Stadium this prediction might need revising but for now all the intangibles favor City. So does the presence of almost every significant starter.

City might be the opponent most susceptible to Atletico Madrid going full Simeone but even then there would be such a talent disparity that you would still make the holders overwhelming favorites. Very few teams win the Champions League then win it again. Even Guardiola has never managed that. This team he might. In fact he probably will.

Final prediction

  • Manchester City beat Atletico Madrid