Lionel Messi Barcelona Oblak Atletico Madrid Luis
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will want to be in goalscoring form against Atletico MadridReuters

The Champions League returns with four enticing quarterfinals all set to take centre-stage, as the likes Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich look to impress again. While Real and Bayern have, what most would say, relatively agreeable ties, Barca have a tough job at hand in their last eight match against fellow La Liga side Atletico Madrid.

That all-Spanish encounter will be the focus Tuesday, with Barcelona, coming off a loss to Real Madrid in the El Clasico, hosting Atletico Madrid, in a battle of the top two teams in the La Liga.

Barcelona looked a little tired as the match wore on in the Clasico against Real Madrid, with the latter, as a result, pouncing as Cristiano Ronaldo struck a deserved winner. Getting over an El Clasico loss is usually not that easy, but the fact that the result should have little bearing on the final standings in the La Liga will help Lionel Messi and co. move on quicker.

They must do that too if they are to avoid an upset by Atletico Madrid, who, with their stingy defence, can trouble any team in Europe. With Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar with a point to prove, though, after that disappointing outing against Real Madrid, Atletico could be in for a hammering if the trio are in the mood.

The second quarterfinal of Tuesday is Bayern Munich vs Benfica. Bayern only just snuck into the quarters, thanks to a late equaliser from Thomas Muller, before Thiago Alcantara and Kingsley Coman scored in extra time to knock last season's finalists Juventus out. They were put to the test by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga at the weekend as well, with a Franck Ribery goal just about giving them a 1-0 victory.

While Benfica are not the strongest team they could have drawn in the quarterfinals, Pep Guardiola's men need to be wary of complacency against the Portuguese champions, who have the players capable of hurting the Bayern defence. Keeping a clean sheet and scoring a couple of goals will be key if Bayern are to go into the second leg in Lisbon feeling comfortable.

Wednesday's big Champions League matchup is PSG vs Manchester City. Both teams have eyes on the Champions League title this season, and while the two squads are stocked with world-class talent, Paris Saint-Germain probably go into this tie as the favourites.

PSG beat English opposition in Chelsea in the last 16, and with Manchester City still not entirely convincing in Europe, they will be desperate to get over the quarterfinal hurdle and seal a place in the semifinals.

The final Champions League quarterfinal first leg will see Wolfsburg hosting Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane's team will still be buzzing from the El Clasico win and they will also take heart from the fact that they have won their last four ties against German opposition in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Wolfsburg will be making their first ever Champions League quarterfinal appearance, and the key will be to keep the tie as close as possible by picking up a positive result at home.

UEFA Champions League quarterfinals first leg schedule:

Quarterfinal 1: Bayern Munich vs Benfica.

Date: Tuesday, April 5.

Time: 8.45 p.m. CET (12.15 a.m. IST, 7.45 p.m. BST, 2.45 p.m. ET).

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich.

Quarterfinal 2: Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid.

Date: Tuesday, April 5.

Time: 8.45 p.m. CET (12.15 a.m. IST, 7.45 p.m. BST, 2.45 p.m. ET).

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona.

Quarterfinal 3: Wolfsburg vs Real Madrid.

Date: Wednesday, April 6.

Time: 8.45 p.m. CET (12.15 a.m. IST, 7.45 p.m. BST, 2.45 p.m. ET).

Venue: Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg.

Quarterfinal 4: PSG vs Manchester City.

Date: Wednesday, April 6.

Time: 8.45 p.m. CET (12.15 a.m. IST, 7.45 p.m. BST, 2.45 p.m. ET).

Venue: Parc des Princes, Paris.

TV listings: India: Ten 1, Ten 2, Ten 3, Ten 1 HD. UK: BT Sport. USA: Fox Sports. Canada: TSN. China: QQ Sports and PPTV. Spain, France, Australia, Middle East, North Africa, Thailand, Indonesia: Bein Sports. Germany: Sky Sport. Portugal: RTP and Sport TV.

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