The eight quarter finalists for the UEFA Champions League have now emerged and the anxious wait to find out who United have to face will end on Friday night. The UEFA general secretary will make the draws at its headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The pairings will be 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 eight remaining clubs are – Barcelona (Spain), Manchester United (England), Arsenal (England), Bayern Munich (Germany). Inter Milan (Italy), Bordeaux (France), Lyon (France), CSKA Moscow (Russia)
Sir Alex Ferguson will possibly be hoping for either one of the two trips to France preferably Lyon. A long flight to and from Moscow, especially either side of the Chelsea Premier League crunch match, will be best avoided. It should also prove beneficial to let Inter Milan battle it out with one of the other stronger sides where one of them will be eliminated.
This is all conjecture and wishful thinking of course but on paper at least, the best outcome for United will be to meet any other club with the exception of Barcelona in the semi final hoping to meet them in the Madrid final where the memory of last season’s defeat in Rome will add further incentive for revenge.
The quarter finals are played on a home and away basis, with the first legs scheduled for Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 March and the return matches the following week, on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 April.
The four winners at this point will know their semi final opponents. The first legs of the last four ties will be played on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 April, with the second legs staged on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 April.
An additional draw will define whether the winner of semi-final 1 or the winner of semi-final 2 will be considered, for administrative purposes, the home side in the final, which will take place on Saturday 22 May at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium.
Who will be the best opponent for United to be drawn against in the Quarter Finals?