And then there were four. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid,…
On a matchday that saw the Madrid derby all square, Juventus narrowly beating Monaco by a goal, and Bayern Munich being humbled by Porto; it was the Catalonian side, Barcelona which showed why exactly they were the favorites. They, of course, won comfortably against a depleted Paris Saint-Germain side, however it was the manner of which they won in which saw them look the team likely to lift the trophy in Berlin.
The quintessential question for Barcelona was whether or not the attacking trio upfront with Lionel Messi, Neymar, and the newly arrived Luis Suarez, would become a strikeforce that can fire them to a successful season. It seems as if that question, at least up until this point, would be yes. Luis Suarez perhaps had his best game in a Barcelona jersey to date against the French Champions, however he had already made his mark in 2015 in other important matches. He scored twice at the Etihad against Manchester City, which effectively gave the Catalonian club a ticket to the final 8, while scoring a fantastic winner against Real Madrid in the most recent El Clasico.
Simply put, Barcelona’s front three is the most talented in world football, and can quite easily become one of the most feared in history. With Luis Suarez finding his form at the correct moment, Neymar consistently scoring goals, and Messi just being Messi, this feature alone makes them favorites to win the Champions League. It also helps that the other two favorites, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, have two very contested 2nd legs ahead of them. With Real’s recent history with Atletico, it looks like a considerable task already to progress to the final four. While with the Bavarian giants, overcoming a 3-1 deficit against a solid Porto outfit with a depleted squad may be too much to ask from the remaining German club side. Even if the other two favorites were to progress, Barcelona will be fully confident in facing them, knowing how these sides have played recently.