Champions League quarter-finalists’ main strengths and weaknesses

The Telegraph’s Charlie Eccleshare and Alistair Tweedale have taken an in-depth look at the last eight teams and explaining their pros and cons in details
Roma

Main strength

“The midfield three. In Radja Nainggolan Roma have one of the world’s best box-to-box midfielders, Kevin Strootman – now having overcome a terrible run of luck with injuries – looks back to his his best, and Daniele De Rossi is an imposing anchor.”

Main weakness

“In Federico Fazio and Aleksandar Kolarov, for example, Roma have defenders that would be in trouble if isolated against many of the players left in the competition. Shakhtar should have scored more than the two they got over two legs in the last round.”

Sevilla

Main strength

“In former Stoke and Blackburn holding player Steven Nzonzi and the more creative Ever Banega, Sevilla boast a formidable central midfield pairing. Nzonzi in particular has played a big part in Sevilla keeping clean sheets in six of their last nine matches.”

Main weakness

“Ben Yedder aside Sevilla lack a goal threat, and looked impotent against United until the Frenchman came on in the second half.”

Liverpool

Main strength

“Firmino, Salah and Sadio Mane form a thrilling front three, and can overwhelm opposition defences with their speed and trickery.”

Main weakness

“Loris Karius is improving but is still yet to convince in goal, while at centre-back Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip are inadequate partners for Virgil van Dijk.”

Juventus

Main strength

“At the risk of entering a well-worn cliche, Juve’s success is built on a rock solid defence. They have conceded a barely believable four goals in their last 22 matches – three of which were scored by Spurs. Giorgio Chiellini has been the stand-out performer in the Juve back-line.”

Main weakness

“Tottenham, and especially Mousa Dembele, exposed the lack of physicality in Juve’s midfield.”

Bayern Munich

Main strength

“The depth and variety to Bayern’s midfield is astounding. They have ball-winners in Arturo Vidal and Javi Martinez, ball-players in Thiago and Corentin Tolisso, creators in James Rodriguez and wingers in Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman. Then there’s Thomas Muller as well. Whenever anything at all isn’t working, they have tonnes in reserve.”

Main weakness

“Clutching at straws here, but Bayern failure at the quarter- or semi-final stage in each of the last four season may have had a psychological impact.”

Manchester City

Main strength

“Goals, goals, goals. City just cannot stop scoring, and they have goals in them across the pitch. Anyone they come up against will need plenty of firepower to outscore them.”

Main weakness

“They don’t have many, and have even tightened up at the back of late. But that said, with Benjamin Mendy having missed most of the season, City have not settled on a consistent choice at left-back, and Danilo, Fabian Delph or Oleksandr Zinchenko could be the chink in their armour.”

Barcelona

Main strength

“Unusually for Barcelona, their defence has impressed more than their attack this season – and not just because that doesn’t fit with what we expect. They have conceded only 15 goals in 36 league and European games all season, which is as good a record as you’ll see across the continent.”

Main weakness

“Reliance on the front two. After Messi and Luis Suarez, Barcelona’s top scorer in La Liga this season is Paulinho with eight. After that, there are five players on two goals. It’s not at all easy to stop those main two, but if you can manage it, you’ve got more than half the job done.”

Real Madrid

Main strength

“Zinedine Zidane has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal, with the regular starters Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Isco supplemented by Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez.”

Main weakness

“With Marcelo playing almost as a winger, Real can be vulnerable on the counter if their holding midfielder Casemiro is caught forward. This has been a particular issue this season when Real have fallen behind and started chasing games. Tottenham and a number of lesser-fancied La Liga teams have exploited this over the course of the campaign.”