The draw for the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final stage has just been completed and it has produced some mouthwatering match-ups. The standout fixture for the next round in UEFA's premier club competition will see the winner of Man City vs Real Madrid take on either Juventus or Lyon.
Given that the aforementioned round of 16 ties are incomplete, it remains unknown which side will make the quarter-final. The Citizens, boasting a 2-1 lead from the first leg and having the home advantage for the return fixture, are the favorites to make the next round. However, given Los Blancos' impeccable form since return to action, Zidane's men will fancy their odds of pulling off a comeback. Should the Madrid giants go through, they could face Juventus, led by their former superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, in the last-eight. Of course, the Old Lady will have to get past Lyon, whom they trail 1-0.
The other interesting draw will see either Barcelona or Napoli take on the winners of Bayern Munich vs Chelsea. Given that the Bundesliga champions boast a 3-0 lead, it is safe to bet on the Germans going through. The question is will they face Gattuso's men or Messi and Co. in the upcoming round? Here are the UCL quarter-final brackets in full.
Ironically, the only four teams that have confirmed their spots in the quarter-finals have drawn each other in the last eight. PSG will be taking on high-flying newcomers Atalanta while Atletico Madrid, the side that eliminated the reigning champions Liverpool a few months back, will lock horns with RB Leipzig.
As for the semi-finals, the winner of Leipzig vs Atletico will take on Atalanta/PSG while the winners of the two undecided quarter-final ties will lock horns in the penultimate stage. Here are the brackets for the last four:
#ucldraw— LiveSoccerTV.com (@LiveSoccerTV) July 10, 2020
Real Madrid/Man City VS Lyon/Juventus
Napoli/Barcelona VS Chelsea/Bayern Munich
Leipzig/Atletico vs Atalanta/PSG
FINAL ON AUGUST 23
The Champions League will be making its much-awaited return on August 7, with the four pending round of 16 fixtures – Barcelona vs Napoli, Juventus vs Lyon, Bayern vs Chelsea, Man City vs Real Madrid – set to wrap up the following day on August 8. UEFA have announced that the 2nd leg of the aforementioned ties will not be played in a neutral venue, meaning those fixtures will take place at the Camp Nou, Juventus Stadium, Allianz Arena, and the Etihad Stadium as initially planned. Here are the scorelines heading into the 2nd leg:
Barcelona (1) vs (1) Napoli
Juventus (0) vs (1) Lyon
Man City (2) vs (1) Real Madrid
Bayern Munich (3) vs (0) Chelsea
Here's a quick reminder of the UEFA Champions League changes that will kick into effect come the quarter-finals due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
The games, starting from the quarter-finals, will all be held in two neutral venues in Lisbon: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Estádio José Alvalade. The final will be held at Benfica's home ground.
Due to the coronavirus and the subsequent suspension of football earlier this year, time is not on UEFA's side. As a result, the competition has abandoned the two-legged format. Instead, the quarter-final and semi-final stages will be single-leg ties, following a World Cup-esque straight-knockout format.
Additionally, the number of subs permitted per game has been increased from three to five for the remainder of the 2019/20 season. However, similar to Europe's domestic leagues, these changes can only be made at three points in the game (this does not include HT, end of regular time, and extra-time). Matchday squads have been increased to 23 players and teams are allowed to register three new players so long as they were eligible to play at a domestic level since February 3.
UEFA Champions League 2019/20 key dates
August 7-8: Round of 16 second legs
August 12-15: Quarter-finals
August 18-19: Semi-finals
August 23: Final