QF 4 Manchester United (ENG) Vs Bayern Munich (GER)
QF 3 Paris Saint German (FRA) Vs Chelsea (ENG)
QF 2 Real Madrid (ESP) Vs Borussia Dortmund (GER)
QF 1 Barcelona (ESP) Vs Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Here we go.
Five minutes to go until the draw begins in Nyon!
Real Madrid recap: An explosive force in this season’s tournament, Madrid have outscored the rest, their front trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale netting 21 of the Merengues’ 29 goals to date. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has instilled harmony among a group that has excelled within a 4-3-3 formation to become one of the sides to avoid in the last eight. “At Real Madrid we must think big and with that attitude, anything is possible,”
Paris Saint Germain recap: Back at the stage where they exited last year, ambitious Paris possess the talent to progress even further this time around, having signalled their potential with comfortable wins against the likes of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, SL Benfica and RSC Anderlecht. "We're stronger than we were last season," says captain Thiago Silva, his team boasting an impressively fluid midfield and a Zlatan Ibrahimović hungry to finally win the UEFA Champions League.
Manchester United recap: United are not among the favourites yet it would be foolish to write them off – just remember how Liverpool FC (2005) and Chelsea FC (2012) conquered Europe after difficult Premier League campaigns. David Moyes’ side have won all four home games and rediscovered something of their old selves when shrugging aside their domestic troubles with Wednesday’s fightback against Olympiacos FC.
Borussia Dortmund recap: Beset by injuries and off the Bundesliga title pace this term, Dortmund have nonetheless reached the last eight of the UEFA Champions League and that serves as confirmation of sorts that last season’s final run was no flash in the pan. With top scorer Robert Lewandowski suspended for the first leg, the Schwarzgelben are going to have it tough whoever they face in the quarter-finals.
Chelesa recap: It has been smooth progress for Chelsea so far – the only blot being those bemusing defeats by FC Basel 1893 – but they know it starts to get serious from this point on and they will be hoping that the mercurial Eden Hazard maintains his scintillating form and John Terry and Gary Cahill their defensive solidarity. “We know we have a strong team,” says Ramires. “We have everything it takes to get to the final.”
Bayern Munich recap: Defeat by Manchester City FC in their final group game aside, Bayern have looked every bit as imperious as they did in last season’s competition – if not more so. Josep Guardiola has further optimised Jupp Heynckes’ all-conquering formula and with such strength in depth, Bayern remain the team to beat in the quarter-finals. Based on the teams I’ve seen so far, Real Madrid CF look like they could be the biggest obstacle in the Bavarians’ quest to defend their title.
Barcelona recap: The UEFA Champions League has been the best of times and the worst of times for Barça this season. In the plus column are the wins at Celtic FC and Manchester City FC, important ripostes to last season's away-day travails. The deployment of four midfielders – Cesc Fabregas, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta and Sergio Busquets – in the same team has offered a seismic enhancement in security. Barcelona’s one black mark must be that they were so outrun at AFC Ajax on matchday five.
Atletico Madrid recap: Diego Simeone’s season-long mantra of “taking things a game at a time” has seen his side reach the quarter-finals as one of only two unbeaten teams, Real Madrid CF being the other. A strong collective spirit, immense work rate, solid defence and an attack that contains the formidable Diego Costa, scorer of seven goals in five appearances, make Los Rojiblancos serious title contenders.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: 'The most difficult opponents you can get in European football are there, Chelsea and Man United are the outsiders.'
All previous draw restrictions are no longer valid, meaning no teams are seeded and clubs from the same national association can be drawn against each other. The side drawn first will play their first leg at home, on 1 or 2 April, with the returns on 8 and 9 April.
The quarter-final pairings are determined by an open draw in which no teams are seeded and clubs from the same national association can be drawn against each other. The side drawn first will play the first leg at home.
Club Atlético de Madrid (ESP)
FC Barcelona (ESP)
FC Bayern München (GER)
Chelsea FC (ENG)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Manchester United FC (ENG)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Real Madrid CF (ESP)