The UEFA Champions League (UCL) has made more appearances in the headlines in recent days for two reasons.
The first reason was the drama among Manchester City, UEFA, and the Court of Arbitration of Sports. The possibility of City facing a ban from Champions League football was constantly being mentioned alongside the race for the top four in the Premier League.
A fifth-place finish would have still earned a UCL spot had the ban been upheld. However, Pep Guardiola’s side had their ban overturned this morning. Set to finish in second place this season, the race for the top four is now solely up to the teams involved.
The second reason was about the UCL draw which was made.
The competition whose last set of games saw the reigning champions, Liverpool, get knocked out, will continue in August.
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And now, the teams that remain in the competition now know their fate. While four teams – Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, PSG, and RB Leipzig – have qualified for the quarter-finals, these eight teams are still trying to navigate their way through:
- Manchester City vs. Real Madrid
- Lyon vs. Juventus
- Napoli vs. Barcelona
- Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich
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The second leg of these four Round of 16 games have to be played first before the quarter-final round can begin. With Real Madrid and Juventus trailing from the first leg, there’s a potential Manchester City vs. Lyon clash.
But football is largely unpredictable.
That’s why most Chelsea fans think that they can still overturn their 3-0 deficit against Bayern Munich in August. Napoli and Barcelona could not be separated in the first leg. So, there’s all to play for in this second leg clash.
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But that’s just one half of the UCL draw.
In the other half, it’s all about the four quarter-finalists.
In Quarter-final 2, Rb Leipzig were drawn against Diego Simeone’s men. The winner of that clash will take on the winner of Quarter-final 4, which will see Atalanta and PSG go head-to-head.
As a precautionary measure, the latter stages of the competition will be played in Portugal. This includes the quarter-final, semi-final and final, which will be played over 12 days.
With the competition set to resume in under a month, fans are already anticipating its return.
By the time August is ushered in, all major football leagues in Europe will have come to an end. And by that time, fans will be ready to feast on the exciting match-ups that the UCL will serve us.
Which of these clashes are you anticipating the most?
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