Champions League quarter-final draw

By Louis Ostrowski

Ajax v Juventus

Two European heavyweights were the first two teams out of the hat – both having won the Champions League before. Ajax and Juventus both travelled to Madrid in the first knockout round, Ajax knocking out holders Real Madrid and Juventus defeating Atletico, but it is the Italians who will be favourites – they have made the final twice this decade.

Liverpool v FC Porto

Last year’s finalists Liverpool will have every reason to be confident of progressing past Porto to make the semi-finals – they dispatched the Portuguese side 5-0 in last season’s Champions League. The 2004 winners should not be ruled out though – they topped Group D with 5 wins, and have Champions League winning experience in their ranks with Iker Casillas and Pepe.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

An English team is guaranteed to make the semi-finals as the two Premier League sides were drawn together. League leaders City will be favourites having won their last three matches against Spurs, but went out to English opposition at this stage last year, giving Spurs some hope. They will also expect to play the first leg in their new stadium, which could give Mauricio Pochettino’s side the boost they need.

Barcelona v Manchester United

Barcelona beat Manchester United in both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals, and, as the most recent winners remaining in the competition, the Spanish champions will expect to prevail again. United pulled off an incredible comeback against Paris Saint Germain to progress to the quarter finals, but the odds are against them, having not made it to the semi-finals since 2011.

Semi Final Draws

Spurs/City v Ajax/Juventus

Whoever prevails between Ajax and Juventus in the first quarter final will know that a trip to England awaits –be it against Tottenham or Manchester City. Both City and Juventus will consider themselves favourites for the tournament, which would make for an exciting semi-final, but Ajax and Spurs both caused shocks in the round of 16 and cannot be taken lightly.

Barcelona/United v Liverpool/Porto

Beating Barcelona is no easy task – but if Manchester United can manage it, they know that they could well be facing their great rivals Liverpool in the semi-final for their first ever Champions League meeting. Porto would be a similarly mouth-watering prospect for United, with the Portuguese side knocking the Reds out on their way to Champions League victory in 2004. Barcelona and Liverpool will be the favourites though, having won the Champions League five times each.

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