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Insight

Fate of the eight

Deputy editor Dan Poole dissects the draw for Champions League quarter-final

WORDS Dan Poole

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

Fate of the eight
Insight

Fate of the eight

Deputy editor Dan Poole dissects the draw for Champions League quarter-final

WORDS Dan Poole

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

We have former Inter, Manchester United and Arsenal defender Mikaël Silvestre to thank for the quarter-final draw made earlier today. The Frenchmen spoke of the “beautiful atmosphere” he anticipates at the Stade de France; given its capacity of just over 80,000, it will be undeniably thrilling to witness a full stadium for a Champions League final for the first time in three years.

Anyway, that’s not till May. In the meantime there are eight teams that need to be whittled down to two – and Silvestre’s selections have set up some intriguing ties. First out of the hat (well, out of the bowl and then out of some tiny starballs) was holders Chelsea v Real Madrid, hot on the heels of their semi-final last year. Chelsea emerged triumphant last time around but Real will be full of beans after their smash-and-grab against Paris in the round of 16. Plus, they’ve got a Chelsea old boy in charge this time around: it’s 11 years since Carlo Ancelotti left the club. He might have a point to prove.

Manchester City v Atlético de Madrid came next. The two sides have never played each other in European competition before, although the Spaniards will be returning to a city they’ll have fond memories of from the previous round. And one from the Atleti ranks might be able to help with some inside knowledge: centre-back Stefan Savić won the Premier League with City in his sole season with them in 2011/12.

Events on the sidelines will also be of significant interest, with the potential for some passionate exchanges between Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone. The last time they met in the Champions League was the 2015/16 semi-final, when Guardiola was in charge of Bayern. The Argentine’s side went through on away goals; what are the chances he’ll be brining that up between now and the first leg?

The third tie will see Villarreal, fresh from knocking out Juventus, taking on another titan of the European game: Bayern München. The last and only time these two faced off in the Champions League was the 2011/12 group stage; Bayern won 2-0 at home and 3-1 away, with the Germans finishing top of the group and the Yellow Submarine sinking to the bottom, with zero points. Unai Emery is unlikely to use that example in his team talk, but he will be expecting a cannier display this time around.

Last but not least, Benfica v Liverpool; like the Eagles’ tie against Ajax in the round of 16, it’s got a lovely ring to it. But Jürgen Klopp will be more interested in recent history than past glories, which he’ll lean on recent recruit Luis Díaz for: up until January, the Portuguese winger was in regular competition against Benfica in the Primeira Liga. And the German manager will do well to avoid any talk of 2005/06, as that most recent meeting between the sides resulted in Benfica winning through in the last 16.

Thanks to Silvestre’s nifty ball control, we also have an idea how the semis will shape up. There could be a Premier League match-up between City and Chelsea, or a Madrid derby; Liverpool v Bayern would also be a tantalising prospect. But there are five other permutations too, so let’s just stop listing them now. Just ring 5 April in your diary and look forward to quarter-final fun and games.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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