The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League has been like no other, with knockout matches being held in neutral venues across Europe, as well as travel restrictions making teams relocate for their European ties.
Nonetheless, the European competition has already brought football fans around the world a lot of entertainment, with the highest standard of football on show in the elite tournament.
The last 16 round of the competition was completed earlier this week, and now the draw has been made to see who will face who in the quarter-final, and semi-final stages.
Champions League Quarter-Finals
After a comfortable last-16 tie with Borussia Monchengladbach, Manchester City will now host another German side in Borussia Dortmund in the first-leg of their quarter-final draw, before heading to Dortmund for the return leg.
Chelsea were the underdogs going into their first knockout round of the tournament, but the London side took advantage of some underwhelming performances by Atletico Madrid to take a 2-0 aggregate win over the La Liga leaders.
Despite a disappointing domestic campaign, Liverpool are still standing strong in the European cup after beating 2nd place in the Bundesliga RB Leipzig. With 2-0 home and away wins, Liverpool will now play Spanish giants Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Reigning and defending Champions League winners Bayern Munich will play in a two-leg replay of last year’s final – versus PSG. The French side will look for revenge after losing in the final of last year’s Champions League, and will travel to Germany for the first-leg of the tie.
The full draw:
Manchester City vs. Borussia Dortmund
FC Porto vs. Chelsea
Bayern Munich vs. PSG
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
The first-leg ties will take place on April 6 and April 7, with the second-legs on April 13 and April 14.
Champions League Semi-Finals
On Friday morning, the UEFA draw also confirmed the semi-final ties, to determine which quarter-final winners will play which.
The full draw:
QF Winner 3 vs. QF Winner 1
QF Winner 4 vs. QF Winner 2
Bayern Munich/PSG vs. Manchester City/Borussia Dortmund
Real Madrid/Liverpool vs. FC Porto/Chelsea
There are a number of potential matchups, with some that are very appealing to the neutral fans. There’s the possibility of an all-German semi-final, as well as an all-English semi-final – if all teams progress through the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The semi-final stage of the Champions League will be held late April/early May, with the official dates yet to be officially confirmed.
Europa League Round Up
As well as the Champions League draws revealed, UEFA also announced the Europa League quarter-final and semi-final draws.
The Full Draw:
Granada CF vs. Manchester United
Arsenal vs. Slavia Prague
AFC Ajax vs. AS Roma
Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal
Round of 16 – Talking Points
After an impressive 1-0 away win at the San Siro to eliminate AC Milan, Manchester United will now face Spanish side Granada in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. If they progress, then Ajax or Roma await them in the semi-final of the European competition.
Meanwhile, fellow English club Arsenal got the job done against Olympiakos, and will now go up against Slavia Prague in the quarter finals.
Dinamo Zagreb pulled off an upset, eliminating Tottenham Hotspur following a Mislav Orsic hat-trick in the second-leg – coming back from 2-0 down from the first leg to win 3-2 and progress through. The Croatian side will face a tough side in Villarreal in the quarter-finals.
Dutch giants Ajax have a similar route to the final, with a potential matchup against Manchester United in the semi-finals – a repeat of the 2017 Europa League final.
Slavia Prague are another side to have win against the odds against UK teams, beating both Leicester City and Rangers in the last-32 and last-16 of the Europa League respectively. The Czech side will have to do it a third time against Arsenal to reach the Europa League semi-final stage.
According to the bookies, however, the two English clubs remaining in the competition, along with Ajax, are favourites to win the European competition.
QF Winner 1 vs. QF Winner 3
QF Winner 4 vs. QF Winner 2
Granada/Manchester United vs. AFC Ajax/AS Roma
Dinamo Zagreb/Villarreal vs. Arsenal/Slavia Prague
The first-leg of the quarter-final ties will take place on April 8, with the return leg on April 15.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived – UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil – and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey – a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.