Champions League final eight draw throws up possible Barcelona-Bayern clash


Paris (AFP) – Barcelona and Bayern Munich will meet in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League should both sides make it through, Friday’s draw for the final eight confirmed.

Both teams still need to complete their last-16 ties, with Bayern almost there having won 3-0 away to Chelsea in the first leg, while Barcelona are due to host Napoli after a 1-1 draw in Italy.

Meanwhile, if Manchester City can finish the job in their last-16 tie against Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola’s team will go on to a quarter-final against either Juventus or Lyon.

City won 2-1 in Madrid in the first leg in March, while Juventus must overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their last-16 tie against Lyon.

Postponed in March as the pandemic took over, all remaining last 16 second legs are due to be played on August 7 and 8.

The winners will advance to the Final Eight, which will be held as a unique straight knockout tournament in Lisbon due to the difficulties caused by the coronavirus.

The draw threw up the possibility of a Clasico semi-final, with Barcelona and Madrid on collision course to meet in the last four should both make it that far.

The other side of the draw is clearer. First-time quarter-finalists RB Leipzig of Germany will meet Atletico Madrid, runners-up to city rivals Real the last time the Champions League final was played in Lisbon in 2014. Atletico knocked out holders Liverpool in the last 16.

The winners of the Leipzig v Atletico quarter-final will face either Paris Saint-Germain or Atalanta in the last four.

The quarter-finals will be played between August 12 and 15 in the Portuguese capital, with matches shared between Benfica’s Estadio da Luz and Sporting’s Estadio Jose Alvalade.

The semi-finals are scheduled for August 18 and 19, with the final on August 23 at the Estadio da Luz.

All games are set to be played without spectators after UEFA confirmed on Thursday that “matches should take place behind closed doors until further notice” because of the uncertain health situation around Europe.

The situation in Lisbon itself is particularly concerning, with lockdown restrictions reimposed last week on 19 neighbourhoods across the northern periphery of the city as virus cases increase at a worrying rate.

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