Nyon: The draw for the quarterfinals of the Champions League was held at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon on Friday, and in an all-English affair, Liverpool will welcome Manchester City at Anfield in the first leg of the last-eight of Europe’s elite.
As three of the five English clubs– Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs –to have qualified for this year’s Champions League has already been knocked out in the Round of 16, all hopes of a Premier League club going the distance in Europe’s premier club competition, for the first time since Chelsea in 2012, will rest on the winner of this tie.
A rematch of last year’s final at Cardiff will see heavyweights Juventus and Real Madrid lock horns at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, as The Old Lady, who defeated Tottenham Hotspurs 4-2 on aggregate, will be looking to exact revenge on the reigning European Champions.
However, they will need no reminding of what they will be coming up against, as even after having an utterly disappointing domestic campaign so far, falling 15 points behind runaway leaders and fierce rivals Barca, Real Madrid showed why they are ‘Reyes de Europa’ (kings of Europe).
By clinching an aggregate 5-2 win, Madrid emphatically dispatched Paris Saint Germain, who was one of the favourites to win the competition after adding the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to the squad in the summer.
Fresh from eliminating a spirited Chelsea side in the previous round, FC Barcelona will look forward to hosting AS Roma at the Camp Nou, and while it may seem an easy prospect on paper, moments like Alessandro Florenzi’s goal from almost the halfway line the last time these clubs met (2015) will duly remind the Catalans to keep on their toes throughout.
Meanwhile, even atheists in Seville will start praying for miracles as getting past Bayern Munich is as daunting a prospect as it can get. Although a few vulnerabilities were exposed in the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of PSG earlier in the group stages, for a club far from the calibre, history and pedigree of the current German Champions it will be an improbable task.
It is also worth mentioning that the Bavarians, who made light work of Turkish side Besiktas by inflicting an 8-1 defeat on aggregate to move past the round of 16, are the completely ruthless Bayern of old under coach Jupp Heynckes, who is on a record 11-game winning streak in the competition.
The full draw is as follows:
April 3: Sevilla v Bayern, Juventus v Real Madrid
April 4: Barcelona v Roma, Liverpool v Man. City
April 10: Roma v Barcelona, Man. City v Liverpool
April 11: Bayern v Sevilla, Real Madrid v Juventus.