In a few days time, UEFA Champions League football will resume.
The Europa League will quickly follow suit.
It will be time for one of the most interesting stages of the competition: the quarter-final.
With the draws that were made last week, fans all over the world can’t wait for the games to begin.
It was almost always certain that the draws would produce and all-English tie. With four English sides making it through to the next round, it would have been hard to keep them away from each other. At the end of the day, this is what the draws looked like:
- Tottenham vs. Manchester City
- Ajax vs. Juventus
- Manchester United vs. Barcelona
- Liverpool vs. FC Porto
In the Europa League, both Chelsea and Arsenal will avoid themselves until the final (should they make it that far). The Blues will travel to Czech Republic while Arsenal has the unenviable task of playing against Napoli.
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In the UCL, there’s still a great chance of an English side winning the trophy. The competition has been difficult to predict, with teams like Juventus, Manchester United and Ajax pulling off incredible come-backs. All of a sudden, there’s no small team. And even the so-called big teams are now wary of their opponents.
That’s what football is originally about.
Ajax, the giant-killers, is no more a push-over. Juventus know how well they performed against Real Madrid. Liverpool will tread carefully as regards Porto and Barcelona will desperately try to avoid a “come-back show” against Manchester United.
Which of these sides will win the first leg?
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Slavia Prague has conceded six goals in the last four Europa League games they’ve played. This will be exciting news for Chelsea as they prepare to face them. However, the Blues will also be wary of facing a side that eliminated Lazio and Sevilla from the competition.
In some way, Chelsea has nothing to fear going into this one. They’ve won all four games since qualifying from the group stage – three without conceding a goal. They look set for a semi-final place already.
The All-Spanish tie will be between Villarreal and Valencia. This fixture has been largely dominated by Villarreal in recent times, winning three of the last five meetings.
Arsenal plays the first leg of their tie against Napoli at home. At least, they do not have to worry about how to make a comeback in the second leg. But they have to be wary about a certain Carlo Ancelotti who has plenty of experience when it comes to winning trophies in Europe.
European football is about to get pretty exciting in the coming days. Which of these teams are you rooting for to go the furthest in the competitions? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.