Champions League draw close

  • Last Updated: March 21 2014, 11:08 GMT

Manchester United and Chelsea fans will be holding their breath on Friday morning when the draw for the Champions League is made in Switzerland.

Who will Manchester United and Chelsea face next?
Who will Manchester United and Chelsea face next?

United made it through to the last eight on Wednesday after they overturned a two-goal deficit on a thrilling night against Olympiacos.

The Red Devils may have three European Cups in their vast trophy cabinet, but they are big underdogs to make it to the final in Lisbon on May 24.

United are 20/1 shots with Sky Bet to win the competition, but Wednesday's win over Olympiacos proved they are more than capable of upsetting the odds.

The dark clouds that hung over David Moyes have lifted - for the time being at least - and there is a sense of optimism around the club about their European campaign.

"We fought back (against Olympiacos), so let's see what happens now," said Patrice Evra, who captained United to their 3-0 second-leg win.

"We'll take any team. When we play with that spirit we can do something big."

Chelsea are not short on confidence either. Their Premier League campaign faltered at the weekend when they lost to Aston Villa, but they bounced back with a 2-0 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday.

Having kept Didier Drogba quiet throughout the 3-1 aggregate win, the Blues' confidence is high ahead of the draw, which takes place at 1100 GMT.

"Didier is one of the best players in the world so the result showed we are playing well," said defender Gary Cahill, who scored the second goal in Chelsea's 2-0 return-leg win.

"The opponents in the next round will be top, top drawer but we are playing well and if we play like we did (in the second leg) we will be okay."

Mourinho's own hunger for success in the competition cannot be doubted either. If Chelsea win the Champions League, he will be the only manager other than Bob Paisley to lift the trophy three times.

Despite all the bravado from both camps, perhaps the best way for England to have a team in the last four is if United and Chelsea draw each other in the quarter-finals.

The other six teams left in the hat have won 19 European Cups between them and those that have not won the competition are certainly capable of doing so this time around.

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, has some of the best players in the world at his disposal.

The Germans, who are unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga, are favourites for the trophy, just ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

United or Chelsea would have trouble shackling Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who needs two goals to break Lionel Messi's record of 14 goals in one Champions League campaign.

Messi played his own part in helping Barca to a 4-1 win over Manchester City in the previous round.

Barcelona look set to be pushed into third place in the Spanish Primera Division by Atletico Madrid, who underlined their status as Champions League challengers by beating AC Milan 5-1 in the second round.

Last year's beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund still have some of the most exciting players on the continent, although one of them - Robert Lewandowski - is suspended for the first leg of the quarter-finals.

With hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of talent at their disposal, Paris Saint-Germain would also be formidable opponents.

The first legs of the quarter-finals will take place on April 1 and 2, and the return fixtures will be played the following week.

Quarter-finalists:

Atletico Madrid
Barcelona
Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund
Chelsea
Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain
Real Madrid


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