English trio await European draw

17 March 2011 09:29
Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham will find out their Champions League quarter-final opponents when the draw is made on Friday.Two English teams could face each other as there are no restrictions over who can be paired in the last eight. [LNB]Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk are the other teams left in the competition. [LNB]The draw will also be made for the semi-finals, giving clubs their route to the final at Wembley on 28 May. [LNB]Barcelona eliminated Arsenal in the last round and the three-time winners of Europe's top competition are favourites to lift this year's trophy. [LNB]However, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney does not appear to fear a potential match-up against the Spanish champions. [LNB]"We will be confident we can win whoever we get in the next round," said Rooney, who was on the losing side when the Old Trafford club were beaten by Barcelona in the 2009 final. [LNB]"If you are going to win this tournament you have to play anyone - and beat them."[LNB] We are in the last eight and we have done well to get where we are. We want to stay in this competition and go as far as we can Spurs boss Harry Redknapp Chelsea have endured plenty of heartbreak in their attempts to win the trophy as they have been beaten in four semi-finals since 2003/2004 and lost out in the 2008 final to United on penalties. [LNB]They were defeated by Barcelona in the last four in 2009 , were knocked out by Inter Milan in the last 16 last season and the Blues have the unenviable record of having lost to the eventual winners in the last three seasons. [LNB]Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti, who has won Europe's premier competition four times with AC Milan - twice as a player and twice as a manager, has been reluctant to discuss possible opponents. [LNB]On the prospects of an all-English tie, he said: "No, no, that doesn't matter. We are calm. We are quiet. The draw will decide which team we have to play." [LNB]On Barcelona, he added: "Now I don't want to say anything about this. Barcelona are the most dangerous team but if we have to play against them, we will play." [LNB]Tottenham, who reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1962 when they lost to Benfica, are one of this season's surprise contenders along with German outfit Schalke and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk. [LNB]"It will be difficult for anyone to beat Barcelona," said Spurs manager Harry Redknapp. "They are an amazing team, but who knows?[LNB] I wouldn't like to play against Inter [Milan] or Chelsea due to the emotional factor Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho "We are in the last eight and we have done well to get where we are. We want to stay in this competition and go as far as we can." [LNB]Nine-time European champions Real Madrid last won Europe's top competition in 2002 and have made it through to the last eight for the first time since 2004. [LNB]Real boss Jose Mourinho led Inter Milan to Champions League glory last season and, having also guided Porto to victory in the competition in 2004, he is attempting to become the first coach to win the tournament with three different clubs. [LNB]The Portuguese is hoping to avoid a match-up against former clubs Inter Milan and Chelsea. [LNB]"I wouldn't like to play against Inter or Chelsea due to the emotional factor," he said. [LNB]"If I have to go up against my old people then I will do, but it will force me to prepare more psychologically than against another side that aren't in my heart. I had to do it last season against Chelsea. [LNB]"Now we will wait for the draw. There are a lot of great teams in the next phase so it will be difficult." [LNB]Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo could also face a former club in Manchester United, but his preference appears to be to face German club Schalke, who sacked coach Felix Magath on Wednesday after making it to the last eight. [LNB]Ronaldo said: "Schalke could be a good team, let's hope so as then [former Real striker] Raul would return to his home. [LNB]"I don't want to play Barca right now because they are the strongest side. But it won't matter if we get them because anything can happen in a knockout tie." [LNB]The quarter-final ties will be played on 5/6 and 12/13 April, with the semi-finals taking place on 26/27 April and 3/4 May.

Source: BBC_Sport