Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the quarter-final draws for the Champions League (11am GMT), Europa League (12noon) and, if you have got the stamina, Conference League (1pm) live and direct from Nyon, ‘The House of European Football’ and dear old Pedro Pinto. In all three tournaments, the semi-final draw will take place immediately after the quarter-final ties are allocated.
Eight teams are left in each competition and each is only two steps away from Istanbul … or Budapest … or Prague. In the Champions League we have 14-time winners Real Madrid, seven-time winners Milan, six-time champions Bayern Munich, three-time winners Inter, two-time champs Benfica and Chelsea plus our two light blue virgins Manchester City and Napoli. It’s the first time in 17 years that three Serie A sides have made it through but, despite the great history and pedigree of the Milan giants, Napoli provided the sternest test not just of the trio but in the draw. It’s not just fans of their opponents who would rightly quail at the prospect of a trip to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona but the teams will, too.
There are some mouth-watering prospects there because it’s a free draw – City could play Chelsea in a re-run of the 2021 final, we could have a Milan derby, Chelsea could do a 2012 repeat by taking on Bayern Munich. Pep could face Real, Benfica vs Milan would remind us of the curse of Bela Guttman… the possibilities are endless
In the Europa League Manchester United, Juventus, Feyenoord and, you could knock me down with a feather, Sevilla qualified from Thursday’s early kick-offs. (Shall we start a petition to demand if they win it for a seventh time in 17 years for it to be renamed the Uefa Sevilla League?) Joining them from the late kick-offs are Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Union Saint-Gilloise and Sporting . Or a reunion with Jose Mourinho for United, or Sevilla versus anyone is always worth a watch.
Fiorentina, Gent, Lech Poznan and Basel put themselves in the hat for the Conference League quarter-final draw on Thursday evening where they were joined by AZ, Nice, Anderlecht and West Ham United three hours later.
Stay tuned to discover their fate.