Pep Guardiola, on a mission to win Manchester City a first Champions League title, is set to have a reunion with Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.

Similarly to his time at City, Guardiola attained domestic success at Bayern when winning three successive Bundesliga titles alongside two German Cup wins, but he never managed to raise the Champions League trophy there – a feat he achieved twice at Barcelona in 2008-09 and 2010-11.

However, with Erling Haaland in great form in his debut campaign for City, the ex-Borussia Dortmund forward could well enhance their prospects, especially after equalling the record for five goals in a Champions League tie alongside Lionel Messi and previously netting five against Bayern in seven games.

The most recent English side to win the European competition was Chelsea in 2021, and they will play Real Madrid in the last eight, the same opponents who knocked them out of the competition last season thanks to a Karim Benzema hat-trick in the first leg.

Serie A leaders and likely champions Napoli will face off against AC Milan, who they beat 2-1 in September.

Luciano Spalletti played down Guardiola’s praise naming Napoli “perhaps the best team in Europe” as the Italian believes the City manager is playing “a game to build us up so they can knock us down”.

Italy has not had three teams in the quarter-finals for 17 years, and the club to complete the trio is Inter Milan, who have drawn arguably the most favourable fixture against Benfica, who beat Club Brigge 7-1 on aggregate in the last 16.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full

  • Benfica vs Inter
  • Real Madrid vs Chelsea
  • AC Milan vs Napoli
  • Man City vs Bayern Munich

Champions League semi-final draw

Friday’s draw also included the semi-finals, and it has thrown up the intriguing prospect of one of Benfica, Inter, Milan or Napoli reaching the final.

  • AC Milan or Napoli vs Benfica or Inter
  • Real Madrid or Chelsea vs Man City or Bayern Munich

That also means a potentially nightmare route to Istanbul for City, who remain the bookmakers’ favourites to win the competition.

That is despite the fact they must overcome Real Madrid or Chelsea in the semi-finals – if they can beat Bayern first.

When are the Champions League quarter-finals?

The first legs will be played on Tuesday 11 April and Wednesday 12 April, with the return fixtures played the following week on Tuesday 18 April and Wednesday 19 April.

The semi-finals will take place a month later, beginning on Tuesday 9 May and Wednesday 10 May and concluding the following week.

This year’s Champions League final is being held on Saturday 10 June at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

By admin