Champions League draw: The best and worst-case scenarios for Premier League teams

15th Mar 2018

Ahead of the Champions League quarter-final draw, AskFans takes a look at the possible scenarios facing Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester City.

Despite five Premier League sides entering the last 16 of the Champions League, only two remain, as Liverpool and Manchester City enjoyed comfortable passages through to the quarter-final stage. 

Meanwhile, Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea all fell by the wayside, going out to Juventus, Sevilla and Barcelona respectively.

The Premier League duo now represent a quarter of the sides left in the competition and here are some of the best and worst case scenarios facing both sides.

Best Draw

Roma, Sevilla

With no disrespect to either side, the ideal draw for both teams would be to face either Roma or Sevilla in the quarter-finals - despite both having success against English sides in the competition this season.

Roma took four points from a possible six against Chelsea in the group stages, drawing 3-3 at Stamford Bridge before wiping the floor with the Blues in a 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

Edin Dzeko is arguably in the form of his life at this moment in time, scoring 56 goals for the Serie A side since the start of last season, including two in his last three and the winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in the last 16.

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Sevilla, meanwhile, stunned United at Old Trafford, winning 2-1 to prove they still have pedigree in European competition.

Wissam Ben Yedder netted twice in the second half to seal the victory, though it could be argued their success came more from a poor performance from Jose Mourinho’s side rather than their own strong showing.

Despite both being dangerous opponents of inevitably high quality given their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, these are the two teams that most English fans will ultimately be looking to be drawn against.

Worst Draw

Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid

Take your pick. A tie against any one of these four teams is going to be a huge task for either of the English teams to overcome, though both would certainly given themselves more than a fighting chance of doing so.

Barcelona were ruthless in their dismantling of Chelsea in the last 16, fully capitalising on any mistakes made and boast the best player in the world in Lionel Messi.

As for Bayern, they are in incredible form under Jupp Heynckes, who has a 90% win ratio in his previous 50 games in charge. Winning the Champions League in his last stint in charge of Bayern, Heynckes knows how to get the job done at this level and the Allianz Arena remains one of the toughest grounds to travel to in Europe.

As for Juventus and Real Madrid, they remain somewhat unknown quantities compared to Barca and Bayern, with it difficult to really predict how they will fare in the quarter-finals.

Juventus were arguably fortunate to come out of their tie with Tottenham after Mauricio Pochettino’s men enjoyed the better of the contest over the two legs. That said, what we do know is they are a shrewd outfit, who know every trick in the book and are arguably the best side in Europe at defending a lead.

Real Madrid may have endured a difficult campaign in La Liga to date, but it is impossible to discount a team who have won this competition in three of the last four seasons.

With the likes of Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos and Cristiano Ronaldo to call upon, this is a team packed with stars and their experience is invaluable at this level.

All-English ties

Given their respective positions in the Premier League, Manchester City would most likely feel the more confident of the two sides coming into this potential tie, with Pep Guardiola’s men running away with the title.

That said, you have to wonder what sort of psychological impact - if any at all - Liverpool’s victory over City at Anfield had on the league leaders, still being the only time this season they’ve lost in the league.

The first meeting between the two teams was memorable as Guardiola got the better of Jurgen Klopp at the Etihad after Sadio Mane was sent off after 37 minutes. City went on to put five past the Reds, but Liverpool got their revenge at Anfield.

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A tremendous nine-minute spell in the second half saw Liverpool go 4-1 up and although City brought it back to 4-3, Klopp’s team held on to deny their opponents the chance of repeating the achievements of Arsenal’s Invincibles.

Had their league meetings been the same format as the Champions League, the Citizens would have run out 8-4 winners on aggregate. Goals are to be expected if the duo meet in European competition. That said, there are more intangible factors to take into account in Europe, such as the atmosphere.

The noise heard at Anfield simply would not be replicated at the Etihad, with European nights particularly special in front of the Kop. 

Regardless of what is to happen in the draw, both teams stand a fantastic chance of progressing to the semi-finals, with the potential performance levels of both of these teams in Europe capable of matching any team across the continent.

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