The Champions League knockout stage is down to the final eight teams as the top club teams in Europe battle for survival in the world’s biggest yearly football event.
Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and defending champions Chelsea are among the favorites that have advanced to the quarters.
Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Benfica are the surprise quarter-finalists after going on the road to oust Juventus, Manchester United and Ajax, respectively. That’s three quarter-finalists from Spain and another three from England.
Now that the Round of 16 is complete and the quarter-final field is set, there is one final draw that will determine the bracket for the rest of the competition and set a path for each club to potentially hoist the trophy.
Here is all you need to know about the quarterfinal draw, how it will work, and when the rest of the tournament will take place.
When is the UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw?
The quarter-final draw for the UEFA Champions League tournament will take place on Friday, March 18 at 10pm AEDT.
The draw will occur at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland and will be streamed live by UEFA.
While the draw will, most notably, set the match-ups for the quarter-final round with just eight teams remaining at that stage, it will also set the bracket for the remainder of the competition and eliminate the need for any more draws.
After the quarter-final matches are set, UEFA will also hold the semi-final draw, paving a path for each club and the opponents they will face in each remaining stage.
The draw will then conclude by determining which side of the bracket will be deemed the “home” team in the final, for procedural purposes, despite the final taking place at a neutral venue.
Which teams have qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals?
The Round of 16 will come to a conclusion by March 16 and advancing teams will slowly be added to the list of squads included in the Champions League quarter-final draw.
Here are the match-ups from which the final eight teams will emerge:
Round of 16 schedule & results
|Round of 16 Match||1st Leg
|PSG vs. Real Madrid||1-0||1-3||Real Madrid (Spain)|
|Sporting CP vs. Man City||0-5||0-0||Man City (England)|
|Inter Milan vs. Liverpool||0-2||1-0||Liverpool (England)|
|RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich||1-1||1-7||Bayern Munich (Germany)|
|Atletico Madrid vs. Man United||1-1||1-0||Atletico Madrid (Spain)|
|Benfica vs. Ajax||2-2||1-0||Benfica (Portugal)|
|Chelsea vs. LOSC Lille||2-0||2-1||Chelsea (England)|
|Villarreal CF vs. Juventus||1-1||3-0||Villarreal (Spain)|
Can teams from the same country meet in quarter-finals?
While UEFA has a rule that establishes that no teams from the same country can match up in the Round of 16, that rule is only in place for that specific round of the competition.
From the quarter-finals on, any team can be drawn against any other team, leaving the field wide open for the stretch run of the Champions League.
For example, in the Round of 16 draw, while Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City all won their groups, and Chelsea finished second, the Blues could not have been matched up with any of those three English clubs. However, should combination of multiple English clubs advance to the quarterfinals, they could be drawn to face each other.
Last year’s Champions League tournament did not feature any inter-country matchups through the entire knockout stage until the final when Manchester City lost to Chelsea.
The last time teams from the same nation matched up in either the quarterfinals or semifinals was in the 2019-20 competition, when Tottenham defeated Manchester City on penalties in the quarterfinals, and eventually reached the final before losing to fellow Premier League side Liverpool.
Is the quarter-final draw seeded?
Like the rule about same-country matchups, group stage seeding is only a factor for the Round of 16 draw. It does not come into play in the quarter-final draw.
In the Round of 16, teams that finish first in their group can only match up with teams that finished second in their group, earning those group winners the chance for a more favorable matchup. For that reason, group winners are considered “seeds”.
In last year’s competition, all but one group stage winner failed to advance past the Round of 16. The only group winner to fall short of the quarterfinals was Italy’s Juventus, which finished first in Group G but fell in the Round of 16 to Group C runner-up Porto on the away-goals tiebreaker.
UEFA Champions League schedule
We will be down to just nine Champions League matchdays after the quarter-final draw takes place.
The quarter-finals will be played in the span of a week in April, and we’ll have our two finalists by May 4.
Then the two teams that will play for the UEFA Champions League title will have 24 days of preparation and build-up to the May 28 final in Saint-Denis, France.
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