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Messi vs Ronaldo? PL pairings? All you need to know about UCL quarter-final draw

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Each of the remaining teams in Champions League will learn their quarter final match-ups when the draw is made on Friday 12 am (CET) March 15th, as well as who they could face beyond that on the road to the final on June in Madrid.


The draw for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be held in Nyon, Switzerland at 12 am (CET)

Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Porto, Tottenham


Teams will be drawn at random and, unlike previous rounds, teams from the same nation can be pit against each other.

As well as the quarter-final matches, the make-up of the rest of the competition and possible semi-finals will also be determined.

Manchester City and Manchester United will not be able to play at home on the same night, nor on consecutive nights, following a decision made by the relevant local authorities. Therefore, should both clubs be drawn at home in the same week, the team having finished lower in the domestic league the previous season – in this case Manchester United – will be reversed in accordance with the UEFA Club Competitions Committee principles. Any potential reversal for the semi-finals, for the same reason, would be confirmed after the quarter-finals.

Road to Madrid

9/10 April: Quarter-finals, first leg

16/17 April: Quarter-finals, second leg

30 April/1 May: Semi-finals, first leg

7/8 May: Semi-finals, second leg

Saturday 1 June: Final – Estadio Metropolitano, Madrid



UEFA ranking: 5

This season: W5 D0 L3 F12 A6

Round of 16: 3-2 vs Atlético

Last season: quarter-finals

European Cup best: winners x2 (1985, 1996)

Juventus’ off-season move to sign Cristiano Ronaldo was intended to end a 23-year wait for a third European title.

It’s working so far.

Ronaldo delivered another career-defining performance, scoring a hat trick against Atletico Madrid to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss. His legal issues in the United States, where he has been accused of rape, seemed a world away. Ronaldo is looking to join Seedorf as the only players to win the European Cup or Champions League with three different clubs. Veteran Juventus defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, along with coach Massimiliano Allegri, just want a first title after losing in the final in 2015 and ‘17.


UEFA ranking: 12

This season: W4 D1 L3 F12 A8

Round of 16: 3-1 vs Bayern

Last season: runners-up

European Cup best: winners x5 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005)

A finalist last season and now in the quarterfinals again, Liverpool is back at Europe’s top table.

The mature way the five-time European champions dealt with Bayern Munich in their 3-1 away win in the last 16 showed how far they have come under Juergen Klopp over the past two years.

It was fitting that a goal by Virgil van Dijk proved to be key in Munich, with the arrival of the centre back for $99 million in January 2018 shoring up a defence that had been shaky in Klopp’s first two years in charge. Liverpool also now has a world-class goalkeeper in Brazil international Alisson Becker. Few will relish going to Anfield in the last eight. Just ask Manchester City, which was swept aside 3-0 in the first leg last year to virtually end its Champions League ambitions.


UEFA ranking: 6

This season: W6 D1 L1 F26 A8

Round of 16: 10-2 vs Schalke

Last season: quarter-finals

European Cup best: semi-finals (2016)

This season seems like City's best chance to become European champion since being taken over by its Abu Dhabi owners in 2008.

No longer Champions League novices, City is in the quarterfinals for the third time in four years.

The depth in Pep Guardiola's squad is fueling a challenge for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies, having already won the English League Cup. City has benefited from benign draws, with Schalke shaping up as the weakest round of 16 option. City won 10-2 over two legs.

A two-leg quarterfinal against Liverpool, its Premier League title rival, or against Manchester United, its neighbour, would be quite an experience.


UEFA ranking: 16

This season: W4 D1 L3 F10 A7

Round of 16: 3-3 vs Paris (through on away goals)

Last season: round of 16

European Cup best: winners x3 (1968, 1999, 2008)

Twenty years after scoring the winning goal for United in a Champions League final, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to lead the team to the title as manager. After his understrength team's amazing comeback at Paris Saint-Germain from a 2-0 first-leg loss, who would bet against them?

There's a “nothing to lose” feel about United, which was a huge outsider when qualifying for the knockout stage under Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer has restored some of the team's belief and attacking swagger in three months in charge. See especially Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku. It might not be enough for a fourth European title but it should be fun watching.


UEFA ranking: 9

This season: W6 D1 L1 F19 A9

Round of 16: 4-3 vs Roma (aet)

Last season: round of 16

European Cup best: winners x2 (1987, 2004)

Porto is, perhaps, the team everyone else in the draw wants to face. Coached by former player Sergio Conceicao, Porto is looking to go beyond the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004 when Jose Mourinho led the team to its second title.

Porto has flavours of South America and Mexico in the team, plus a foundation of Champions League-winning former Madrid veterans: 37-year-old goalkeeper Iker Casillas and 36-year-old defender Pepe, who returned to his former club in January.

Like Liverpool, Porto has a strong African influence in attack with Mali forward Moussa Marega its top scorer with six goals in the competition.


UEFA ranking: 18

This season: W4 D2 L2 F13 A10

Round of 16: 4-0 v Dortmund

Last season: round of 16

European Cup best: semi-finals (1962)

Tottenham is in the quarterfinals for only the second time, despite not buying any players in the past year.

That highlights the extraordinary job coach Mauricio Pochettino is doing with a tight-knit squad - headlined by England striker Harry Kane and Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen - and an ever tighter budget.

Tottenham’s new stadium, built on the site of its former White Hart Lane ground in north London, should finally get to host a Champions League game after season-long construction delays and safety concerns.

If Tottenham is drawn at home for the first leg on April 9-10, it could even officially open the new arena.


UEFA ranking: 22

This season: W8 D5 L1 F29 A12 (including qualifying)

Round of 16: 5-3 vs Real Madrid

Last season: third qualifying round (UEFA Europa League play-offs)

European Cup best: winners x 4 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1995)

Last season Ajax crashed out of Europe in August; this time – while involved in another exciting title race with PSV Eindhoven – they came through three rounds of qualifying, then held Bayern twice in their group and took ten points off Benfica and AEK Athens. 

In the round of 16, after an unfortunate 2-1 home loss, Ajax stunned the holders 4-1 in the Spanish capital to end Madrid's reign of over 1,000 days as European champions.


UEFA ranking: 2

This season: W5 D3 L0 F19 A6

Round of 16: 5-1 vs Lyon

Last season: quarter-finals

European Cup best: winners x5 (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015)

Looking odds-on to retain their Liga title, Barcelona have ridden through some rocky patches, including a couple of prolonged absences for Lionel Messi through injury. While they remain a cut above domestically, they have not made it past the quarter-final stage since 2015 and want to right that this year.