Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the quarter-finals for the Champions League (11am GMT), Europa League (12pm) and, if you’ve 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 takes place immediately after the quarter-finals are drawn.
There are eight teams left in each league and each one is just two steps away from Istanbul… or Budapest… or Prague. In the Champions League we have 14-time champions Real Madrid, seven-time champions Milan, six-time champions Bayern Munich, three-time champions Inter, two-time champions Benfica and Chelsea plus our two light blue virgins Manchester City and Napoli. It is the first time in 17 years that three Serie A sides have made it, but despite the Milan giants’ great history and pedigree, Napoli provided the toughest test not only of the trio but also in the draw. It’s not just fans of their opponents who would rightfully shy away from the prospect of a trip to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, but the teams as well.
There are some ravishing prospects there because it’s a free draw – City could play Chelsea in a replay of the 2021 final, we could have a Milan derby, Chelsea could do a 2012 replay by taking on Bayern Munich. Pep could take on Real, Benfica vs Milan would remind us of Bela Guttman’s curse…the possibilities are endless
In the Europa League, Manchester United, Juventus, Feyenoord and, you could hit me with a feather, Sevilla qualified from Thursday’s early kick-off. (Shall we start a petition to demand that if they win it for the seventh time in 17 years, it be renamed the UEFA Sevilla League?) From the late kick-off, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, Union Saint-Gilloise and Sporting join them . A reunion with Jose Mourinho for United would be nice, or Sevilla against whoever is always worth watching.
Fiorentina, Ghent, Lech Poznan and Basel were among the winners of the draw for the quarter-finals of the Conference League on Thursday evening, where they were joined three hours later by AZ, Nice, Anderlecht and West Ham United.
Stay tuned to discover their fate.