Chelsea will face defending champions Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals

Defending champion Chelsea will meet 13-times winner Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday, while Manchester City face Atletico Madrid.

Liverpool were drawn with Benfica as all three remaining English clubs were dismissed and Bayern Munich was paired with Spanish side Villarreal.

Chelsea are hoping to defend their title in Europe despite the turmoil at Stamford Bridge, which was put up for sale after the British government imposed sanctions on Russian owner Roman Abramovich in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Thomas Tuchel’s side are scheduled to play Real Madrid at home in the first leg on April 5 or 6, before returning at the Santiago Bernabeu a week later.

It was reported this week that Chelsea may have to play their upcoming Champions League matches behind closed doors due to European Union sanctions on Abramovich preventing him from selling tickets.

Chelsea beat Real Madrid, now coached by former Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti, in the semi-finals last season on their way to beating Pep Guardiola City in the final in Porto and lifting the Champions League trophy for the second time under Abramovich’s possession.

With the draw for the semi-finals taking place at the same time, Chelsea and City know they will meet in the quarter-finals should they both advance during their quarter-final match against Spanish opponents, but the Madrid derby at that point is also a possibility.

After Manchester United were eliminated in the round of 16, Atletico will return to northwest England in the first leg of their match against City, in which he sees Guardiola adapting to Diego Simeone.

Favorable draw for Liverpool Liverpool, the 2019 European champions still in contention to win four times this season, would be very impressive to beat double European Cup winner Benfica, with the first leg taking place in Lisbon. .

Benfica is currently only third in the Portuguese league this season, but qualified for the round of sixteen at the expense of Barcelona and then overthrew the Ajax team, which I always dreamed of.

The winners of that confrontation will face either Bayern or Villarreal in the round of four, with the German giant heading to Spain in the first leg against coach Unai Emery’s team.

Villarreal won the Europa League last season and reached the Champions League quarter-finals with Juventus’ stunning 3-0 victory over the Italians in Turin on Wednesday to advance 4-1 on aggregate.

The Champions League semi-finals will take place in late April and early May, with the final to be held at the Stade de France in Paris on 28 May.

The match was initially scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg before UEFA stripped the Russian city of the match due to Russia’s military action in Ukraine.

It is the third year in a row that UEFA has moved the Champions League final with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic leading to the 2020 edition moving from Istanbul to Lisbon, and then again from the Turkish city to Porto last year.

The 80,000-seat Stade de France, located in Saint-Denis, north of the French capital, has hosted the Champions League final twice before, in 2000 when Real Madrid beat Valencia, and in 2006 when Barcelona beat Arsenal.

(AFP)

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