CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST EIGHT: WHO CAN WE FACE?

Having successfully overcome Galatasaray in our Champions League Round of 16 clash, the Blues have reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the eighth time in 11 years.

The draw for the last eight takes place in Nyon, Switzerland tomorrow (Friday) at 11am (UK time), and with some of Europe’s best teams still involved, including the current holders and the top three in Spain, there are sure to be some mouthwatering ties.

At this stage of the competition, there are no restrictions on which sides can be drawn together. Here, the official Chelsea website looks at our potential opponents.

Bayern Munich are the current holders of the trophy and have reached the Champions League final in three of the last four years.

Pep Guardiola’s team are 15/8 favourites with our online betting partner Coral to win this year’s competition and become the first side to retain the trophy. They have already played two English sides with an impressive display away at Manchester City in the group stage, and a first-leg victory at Arsenal in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash when they enjoyed a one-man advantage following the dismissal of Wojciech Szczesny.

Domestically, the Bundesliga title is all but wrapped up with Bayern currently 23 points clear at the top of the table. They are yet to be beaten and have dropped points on just two occasions this season – against Freiburg and Bayer Leverkusen.

Guardiola has familiar talent at his disposal with Franck Ribery and former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben (who signed a new two-year contract this week) still providing creativity from wide areas. Thiago Alcantara, having joined from Barcelona last summer, has become a pivotal member of the side in a deep-lying midfield role, while up front Mario Mandzukic is now the main striker.

Our last meeting against the German side, in the UEFA Super Cup in August (pictured below), saw us beaten on penalties following a 2-2 draw, but we’ve come out on top in our two previous meetings in the Champions League – most memorably of course in the 2012 final.

Schurrle Chelsea


Barcelona
, four-time winners of the competition, booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 aggregate win over Manchester City.

In the group stage they eased through as winners, ahead of AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic, scoring 16 goals in the process.

Having fallen at the semi-final stage in the previous two seasons, against Bayern Munich and Chelsea, they have a new manager this campaign in Gerardo Martino from Argentina and have added Neymar to familiar threats such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

Barcelona currently trail both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in La Liga, but with only four points separating the top three, the destination of the title is far from decided, and a win against Real this weekend would put them back in a strong position.

Chelsea, of course, have plenty of history with the Spanish side in the competition, coming out on top twice in our three meetings in the knockout stages, most recently in 2012 when we came from 2-0 down in the Camp Nou to earn a 2-2 draw with 10 men, progressing 3-2 on aggregate.

Barcelona are 7/2 second favourites with Coral to win the Champions League.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who are 12/1 are enjoying a wonderful season, both domestically and in Europe, pushing Real Madrid and Barcelona all the way in La Liga and reaching the last eight in the Champions League for the first time since 1997.

The Blues will need no reminding of what the Spanish side can produce, having been well beaten by them in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup. Radamel Falcao, scorer of a hat-trick on that particular night, has now departed, but the goalscoring mantle has been taken on impressively by Diego Costa who has seven to his name in this season’s Champions League.

With Thibaut Courtois (below), on loan from Stamford Bridge, continuing to impressing in goal, Spanish youngster Koke pulling the strings in midfield and David Villa supporting Costa in attack, Atletico won’t be underestimated by anyone.

Thibaut Courtois in action for Atletico Madrid

They topped their qualification group without being beaten, and the manner in which they overcame AC Milan in the last 16, winning both legs and progressing 5-1 on aggregate, suggests they will pose a serious threat to whichever side they are drawn against.

Paris Saint-Germain reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 1995, when they were beaten over two legs by AC Milan, but have failed to replicate that achievement since.

This time around, however, Laurent Blanc’s squad features the likes of former Chelsea defender Alex, Lucas Moura, Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is second top scorer in this season’s Champions League with 10 goals.

After topping their qualification group, PSG beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 at home – inspired by an Ibrahimovic brace – and 2-1 away.

Currently eight points clear at the top of Ligue 1, where they have lost just one game all season, they look well on course to secure a second consecutive domestic title.

Jose Mourinho’s first Champions League game in charge of Chelsea was against the French side in Paris, in the group stages of the 2004/05 competition, where two Didier Drogba goals and one from John Terry (below) helped us to a 3-0 win. PSG, like Chelsea, are 10/1 to be this season’s winners.

Terry Chelsea


Real Madrid
have won the competition more than any other club, with nine triumphs to their name but none since 2002.

The current side managed by former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti are in a rich vein of form. Schalke were emphatically dispatched in the last 16, 9-2 on aggregate, after Real had cruised through the group stages without losing a game, scoring 20 goals in the process.

It’s now 41 goals this season for Cristiano Ronaldo (13 in the Champions League making him topscorer), and Gareth Bale, who moved to the Bernabeu last summer, appears to be hitting form at the most important time of the campaign.

Real have been beaten at the semi-final stage of the competition in the last three years and are 4/1 to lift the trophy.

After being beaten in last season’s final, losing to a late Robben goal at Wembley, Borussia Dortmund are again making notable progress in the competition.

Domestically, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been unable to reproduce the form they showed last season, with leaders Bayern Munich all but out of sight. However, on the European stage they finished top of a qualification group which contained Arsenal, and overcame Zenit St Petersburg in the last 16, able to lose the second leg 2-1 at home thanks to a big away victory in Russia.

Marco Reus is one of the most talented midfielders in Europe, and Dortmund’s main goal threat Robert Lewandowski, who has already agreed a switch to Bayern Munich for the start of next season, as his former team-mate Mario Gotze did last summer, has six Champions League goals this campaign,

The German club have won the competition once previously, when they beat Juventus 3-1 in the 1996/97 final. Their odds are 14/1 this time. Chelsea have never met Dortmund in the Champions League.

Manchester United are in the rare position of being 20/1 outsiders for the Champions League but will be delighted just to be in the draw having overcome that 2-0 first-leg defeat by Olympiacos.

Man United have won the competition on three separate occasions, most recently in 2008 when they beat the Blues on penalties in Moscow. Since then, they’ve lost in the final twice to Barcelona, while last season they were eliminated by a Real Madrid side under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.

We met the Old Trafford outfit at the quarter-final stage in 2011, with our side managed by Ancelotti going out 3-1 on aggregate.

You can find the outcome this season’s quarter-final draw through this website, the club’s official twitter feed @chelseafc and our SMS alerts.

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