Holders Actual Madrid will play Chelsea within the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the second season operating, whereas Manchester Metropolis have been paired with Pep Guardiola’s former aspect Bayern Munich in Friday’s draw.
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Serie A leaders Napoli tackle AC Milan in an all-Italian showdown and Inter Milan face Portuguese league leaders Benfica.
The winners of Actual’s tie in opposition to Chelsea will go on to face both Metropolis or Bayern within the semifinals, throwing open the potential for an all-English last-four tie.
That additionally will increase the probabilities of seeing an Italian group attain the ultimate for the primary time since Juventus in 2017, as Inter will play both Milan or Napoli within the final 4 ought to the Nerazzurri beat Benfica.
Actual’s path to what can be a fifteenth European Cup is beginning to look remarkably like final season, once they beat Chelsea and Metropolis earlier than defeating Liverpool within the ultimate.
Carlo Ancelotti’s group are contemporary from beating Liverpool within the final 16, and can now hope for a repeat of a 12 months in the past once they eradicated Chelsea 5-4 on combination within the quarter-finals, with Karim Benzema scoring a hat-trick within the first leg in London.
The groups additionally met within the semi-finals in 2021, when the Stamford Bridge aspect gained on their strategy to lifting the trophy for the second time.
Metropolis’s ongoing bid to win the Champions League for the primary time faces a serious impediment in a Bayern aspect who knocked out Paris Saint-Germain within the final spherical.
It is going to be the primary encounter between the golf equipment because the 2014/15 group stage, when Guardiola was in control of the German giants.
Guardiola left Bayern to affix Metropolis in 2016, however continues to be chasing a primary Champions League title as a coach since successful it with Barcelona for the second time in 2011.
“It is going to be a reunion with Pep Guardiola and Erling Haaland, outdated acquaintances from the Bundesliga,” mentioned Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn.
“To win the Champions League you’ll want to beat the perfect groups. That’s the problem and we settle for it.”
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The draw seems considerably lopsided, with the 4 richest golf equipment left within the competitors all on the identical aspect, whereas Italian golf equipment discover themselves within the different half.
A 12 months in the past no Serie A aspect made it past the final 16, however now the runaway Italian league leaders Napoli will face the group who gained the home title final season.
Napoli gained 2-1 away to Milan within the league earlier this season and are resulting from host the seven-time European champions in Serie A on April 2, only a week and a half earlier than the primary leg of their Champions League tie.
Napoli are the one different membership left within the competitors aside from Metropolis who’ve by no means gained the trophy, whereas Inter’s assembly with Benfica brings collectively two groups who’ve gained it 5 occasions between them.
Benfica misplaced to Liverpool within the final eight a 12 months in the past and have by no means reached the semi-finals within the Champions League period.
Inter, at present second in Serie A, 18 factors behind Napoli, haven’t reached the semi-finals since final successful the trophy underneath Jose Mourinho in 2010, the final victory for an Italian membership within the Champions League.
If each Milan golf equipment progress, they’d meet within the semi-finals of the Champions League similar to in 2003, when AC Milan beat Inter on the now-defunct away objectives rule.
The quarter-final first legs might be performed on April 11 and 12, with Actual entertaining Chelsea on the Santiago Bernabeu first earlier than travelling to London for the return per week later, and Metropolis at house to Bayern first.
Inter have been drawn to play Benfica at house initially however will now journey to Lisbon for the primary leg to keep away from a conflict with Milan’s assembly with Napoli at San Siro.
The semifinals might be performed in Might with the ultimate in Istanbul scheduled for Saturday, June 10.