England's last teams standing await Champions League draw fate

England's last teams standing await Champions League draw fate
Man City boss Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City and Liverpool will discover their Champions League quarter-final opponents on Friday.

The north-west clubs are the only surviving Premier League representatives after Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham were eliminated at the last-16 stage.

With country protection and group seedings removed for the last-eight draw, City and Liverpool could be pulled out together or handed a tie against any of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Bayern Munich, Juventus or Roma.

An all-English tie would put runaway Premier League leaders City against one of only four sides to have beaten them this season in all competitions.

Liverpool triumphed 4-3 when the sides met at Anfield in January, although City did win their Etihad Stadium clash 5-0 earlier in the season.

City are regarded by many as the Champions League favourites having swept almost all before them this season. They claimed the Carabao Cup last month and, with a 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League, are potentially just two wins away from securing their domestic title.

Manager Pep Guardiola is chasing Champions League success for a third time as manager having triumphed twice while in charge of Barcelona. He also took Bayern Munich to the semi-finals three times and a draw against either of his former clubs would be intriguing.

None of the potential ties would be a step into the unknown for City. The club are competing in the Champions League for a seventh successive year - the longest ongoing sequence of any English side - and have visited all their prospective opponents during that time.

It is, however, only the second time they have reached the last eight. The other occasion was two years ago, when they beat Paris St Germain before being knocked out by eventual champions, and current holders, Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool's progress to the quarter-finals marks their best performance in the competition since 2009, when they were beaten by Chelsea, but as five-time European champions they bring considerable pedigree to the draw. Indeed, the eight clubs remaining have 29 European Cup and Champions League titles between them. City, Roma and Sevilla are the only sides still involved never to have been crowned Europe's top team.

Real Madrid lead the way with 12 titles and boast the strongest recent form in the competition having won three of the past four finals. Barcelona and Bayern Munich, both five-time winners and the current leaders of LaLiga and the Bundesliga respectively, were beaten in the quarter-finals last year. Juventus, two-time champions, were last season's runners-up.

Roma, beaten finalists in 1984, are playing in the quarter-finals for the first time in 10 years while Sevilla, conquerors of Manchester United, have not got this far since 1958. They are no strangers to continental success, however, having won the Europa League five times since 2006.

The quarter-final draw takes place at 11am on Friday. The ties will played on April 3/4 and 10/11.

- PA

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