The eight teams standing in the UEFA Champions League will discover their quarter-final fate on Friday.
As UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and the ambassador for the final, former England striker Gary Lineker conduct the draw at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday 12.00CET, there can only be one single thought in the minds of the teams involved – and that is to avoid Barcelona.
Undoubtedly the odds on favourites for the competition, the Catalan giants ensured not all four English sides made it through to the quarter-finals after seeing off Arsenal 3-1 in the return leg at the Nou Camp to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate – despite losing 2-1 in the first-leg.
However the English hopes in the competition remain very much alive with Manchester United, Chelsea and debutants Tottenham Hotspur all progressing from their respective last-16 ties.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men crept past French champions Marseille with a 2-1 win in the return leg at Old Trafford after a goalless first leg draw in France.
While a dour goalless draw in the return leg against FC Copenhagen was enough to see the Blues through to join their Barclays Premier League rivals in the last eight.
Tottenham’s adventure in the their first ever season in the Champions League continues as they stunned Italian powerhouse AC Milan by knocking them out of the competition over two legs – first a 1-0 win at San Siro, followed by a resolute goalless draw at White Hart Lane.
Real Madrid reached the last eight of the competition for the first time in seven years after beating French nemisis Olympique Lyon 3-0 in the return leg of their last-16 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho’s side join holders Inter Milan in the draw as the Italian giants completed a remarkable comeback to beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in the return leg in Germany – progressing on away goals despite losing 1-0 in the first leg.
Surprise packages Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk complete the draw after beating Valencia 4-2 and Roma 6-2 respectively over two legs.
The Champions League quarter-finals draw will be open, meaning teams from the same association can be drawn against each other with the ties to be played on 5/6 and 12/13 April.
The semi-final pairings will also be determined with those games taking place on 26/27 April and 3/4 May.
Teams: Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk