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Will we see a La Liga team in the Champions League semi-finals this season?

There’s no shortage of intrigue in the upcoming Champions League quarter-finals, especially with La Liga’s traditional top three in the mix. 

Three Italian clubs featured in the European finals last season, but all ended up empty-handed, painting a potentially ominous picture for the Spaniards. 

However, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid will be out to ensure La Liga makes further progress in the Champions League quarter-finals this week.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City

Record-time European champions Los Blancos face familiar foes Manchester City in arguably the most heavily anticipated fixture in the European calendar.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men crave revenge after last season’s embarrassing 5-1 aggregate loss in the semi-finals, but overcoming Pep Guardiola’s high-flyers is among the most arduous tasks in European football. 

The runaway La Liga leaders must make the most of their first-leg contest at the Santiago Bernabeu to increase their chances of navigating this tie at the Etihad Stadium.

But as they’re up against a side that hasn’t lost 22 consecutive continental matches, Los Merengues see the odds stacked against them and will likely wave goodbye to the Champions League in this round.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain

Not since the famous ‘Remontada’ in 2017 have Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain met on the pitch, mostly doing business behind the desk as Les Parisiens signed Neymar and Lionel Messi in the aftermath. 

PSG boss Luis Enrique was in charge of the Catalan powerhouse when they became the first side in Champions League history to overturn a 4+ goal deficit in the knockout stages seven years ago.

Despite bringing his side to the cusp of a record-extending 12th Ligue 1 title, Enrique’s critical assignment is to lead the Parc des Princes outfit to their first-ever Champions League success.

Barcelona will be desperate to stop him in his tracks as they return to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since their infamous 8-2 thrashing against Bayern Munich in 2020.

Taming Kylian Mbappe is crucial to increasing the likelihood of Barca’s semi-final qualification, as they seem well-equipped to hurt Enrique’s porous backline.

There’s a feeling they could reach the semi-finals in Xavi Hernandez’s swansong season at Camp Nou.

Atletico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

Pulling off a sublime comeback against soon-to-be-crowned Serie A champions Inter Milan in the opening knockout round proved Atletico’s continental credentials. 

Diego Simeone’s team last featured in the Champions League semi-finals in 2016/17 and seem well-positioned to replicate that feat against Borussia Dortmund.

Despite progressing from the so-called ‘group of death,’ Edin Terzic’s men have struggled for conviction on multiple fronts.

Considering Atletico’s dominant home record, they should come out on top. 

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