The UEFA Champions League returns on Tuesday with the quarterfinal first legs between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund as well as Real Madrid and Liverpool.
As always, you can watch it all on Paramount+ as Erling Haaland's underdog BVB attempt to thwart Pep Guardiola's quest for domestic and continental dominance while Jurgen Klopp's Reds try to save their season in Madrid.Find out what our experts make of the first of two appetizing days of UCL action below.
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Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Date: Tuesday, April 6 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+
Rongen's take: For all the history, this feels like a fixture between two sides oddly out of sorts. Madrid couldn't handle Manchester City's press in the last 16 last season and Liverpool, domestically at least, recently snapped out of a pitiful slump. A draw looks likely. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 1
Romano's take: Real Madrid's great experience could be the difference-maker on such an important night, but Liverpool will keep their chances open heading into the return leg. The key man for this one will be Karim Benzema. Pick: Real Madrid 2, Liverpool 1
Echegaray's take: This is the type of fixture where I aim to nullify each other's strengths, cancel each other out and then see what's left. Liverpool's most forceful asset is their attacking trio (which becomes a four when Diogo Jota comes in) and the only way for Real Madrid to take care of them is to have a dominant back line and stout center-back pairing. Problem is .. no Sergio Ramos, and that's huge. So big in fact, it's the reason why I am going with Jurgen Klopp's Reds to win this first leg. Sergio Ramos is that important. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Chiu's take: History shows: No Sergio Ramos, less chance of success for Real Madrid (they're 3-8 W-L without him in UCL). Speaking of Ramos, Mohamed Salah may have added incentive from their incident in the 2018 final. I expect a solid performance from him. Despite Alisson's 16 clean sheets since 2017, I see Real Madrid making it interesting with a goal. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Johnson's take: Klopp's men need Champions League success to save their season while Zinedine Zidane and his players could still win La Liga. I can see a narrow Liverpool win in Madrid. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Benge's take: Their win against Arsenal was quite possibly Liverpool's best performance this season and a healthy reminder of how devastating they can be in attack. A center-back pairing of Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips is certainly the weak point, but you have to get the ball of Thiago and Fabinho before you can expose it. Real Madrid might be able to once but they may feel Sergio Ramos' absence more keenly than Liverpool feel Virgil van Dijk's. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Herrera's take: Real Madrid have struggled to look dominant early this season, but they're finally clicking despite the massive injury woes. Real will connect on goal first but Liverpool will keep making statements in their UCL games with Diogo Jota as the X-factor. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Goodman's take: A couple of strong performances in the Premier League combined with easily dispatching RB Leipzig in the round of 16 suggests that Jurgen Klopp's team has finally turned the corner and figured out how to cope with their defensive injuries. The key has been moving Fabinho back into the midfield to shield the more inexperienced center-backs. Madrid, meanwhile have injuries of their own and will rely on the ageless wonder Karim Benzema to keep them in the match. Pick: Real Madrid 1, Liverpool 2
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
Date: Tuesday, April 6 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+
Rongen's take: City have been imperious since mid-December, winning 24 out of 25 games in all competitions. Erling Haaland -- linked to a move to City -- is capable of turning any game upside down, but Dortmund has structural issues that leave them fifth in the Bundesliga and in danger of missing out on next season's UCL. A comfortable win for Pep Guardiola and Co. Pick: Manchester City 3, Borussia Dortmund 1
Romano's take: Manchester City can dominate this match. The real danger as usual is Erling Haaland, but Borussia Dortmund are struggling a lot in recent months and City are in excellent condition. City will have the tie in hand by the end of the first 90 minutes. Pick: Manchester City 3, Borussia Dortmund 1
Echegaray's take: Erling Haaland is the talk of the town these days, and rightfully so. He is an absolute force outside and inside the box. But the problem is that against Man City, arguably the best team in Europe right now, you need more than Haaland. Yes, you need more. BVB's midfield will be overwhelmed by City's ridiculous movement and synchronicity. The fact that you have a fresh Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling really doesn't help. Pick: Manchester City 2, Borussia Dortmund 0
Chiu's take: Borrusia Dortmund are without Jadon Sancho (thigh) against a Manchester City that has won 26 of their last 27 matches in all competitions. It would be silly to bet against Manchester City at this point. Even though Manchester City have not allowed a UCL goal in 706 minutes, I expect them to at least concede because of Erling Haaland, who has scored 20 goals in 14 Champions League games. It is hard to argue against that stat. Pick: Manchester City 3, Borussia Dortmund 1
Johnson's take: The Germans need an encouraging performance while Pep Guardiola's side is arguably the strongest at this moment in time. I think City will win with Dortmund pushing them closer than most. Pick: Manchester City 2, Borussia Dortmund 1
Benge's take: Pep Guardiola's side looks like bringing truth to the cliche that defense wins championships. Not since Matchday 1 have they let in a goal and the Ruben Dias-John Stones tandem might be enough to stop even Erling Haaland, or at least constrict supply lines to him. Up the other end, you can rest assured that City will score, they ought to have one foot in the semifinal by the time the first leg is done. Pick: Manchester City 2, Borussia Dortmund 0
Herrera's take: Two heavyweights will battle it out, but expect a low-scoring draw with Erling Haaland getting the equalizer. Pick: Manchester City 1, Borussia Dortmund 1
Goodman's take: Erling Haaland may get all the attention (and might even be headed for Manchester City next season) but it's the City defensive masterclasses that Pep Guardiola consistently orchestrates that will prevail. Dortmund's defense meanwhile simply isn't good enough to withstand the prolonged pressure they will likely find themselves under. Pick: Manchester City 2, Borussia Dortmund 0
Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!