And then there were eight. The draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League has now been made, so let’s take a look at the implications for all the teams involved, and look at the top three candidates for the two final places.

Before the draw took place, the big talking point was the lack of English teams in the final stages of both European Competitions. In fact, by the time Sevilla kicked off against Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday night, referee Martin Atkinson was the only Brit left in Europe, and no doubt the bones of that debate will be chewed over extensively in the coming weeks.

Another interesting fact to emerge is that four of the remaining eight Champions League Coaches were all teammates at Barcelona under the reign of Bobby Robson. The quartet of Pep Guardiola, Jose Enrique, Laurent Blanc and Julen Lopetegui were all at the Catalan club during the 1996-97 season.

Of the four quarter-final matches, the one that really stands out is the clash between the two teams from Madrid. This means that once again there will be at least one Spanish side in the semi-finals, with the potential for two out of four if Barcelona can overcome the challenge of Paris St Germain.

The match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will give Diego Simeone’s men the chance to exact revenge on Carlo Ancelotti’s reigning champions after suffering heartbreak in last year’s gripping Lisbon final. Atleti were moments away from winning the trophy when Sergio Ramos headed home an equaliser in the third minute of injury time. The game went to extra-time and the Colchoneros never recovered.

Last year, both sides were dominant throughout the competition but this time round, things have been slightly tougher. Los Blancos had an uncomfortable ride in the last game against Schalke, much to the dismay of their demanding fans; and Atletico were taken to a penalty shootout by Bayer Leverkusen. Since last year’s final, Real have failed to beat their rivals in six encounters and just like in the Copa del Rey, they may find themselves being edged out over the course of two legs.

Barcelona are the third and final Spanish team left in the competition and will take on Paris St Germain in the last eight. The French side progressed on away goals after playing out consecutive draws against Chelsea while Luis Enrique’s side disposed of Manchester City in impressive style. Based on their current form of 17 wins in 18 games, it’s hard to see any other result than a Barca victory in this one.

The second French league side to appear in the draw were Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco. Perhaps the surprise package of the tournament so far, the small but extremely rich team from the principality edged passed Arsenal on the away goals rule after a 3-3 aggregate score line. They will now face a Juventus side that comfortably disposed of Borussia Dortmund and are strolling in their domestic league. If winning is a habit, Juve certainly have it, and they should have too much quality for the men from Monte Carlo.

The last match-up sees Porto take on Bayern Munich in what promises to be an enthralling game. Porto, are one of only two teams left that have not been beaten in the competition this year – the other being Real Madrid. However, they will be facing a Pep Guardiola team that has only lost two of their last 38 games in all competitions. Porto have arguably had the easiest run of games to reach the last eight and the might of the Munich powerhouse should prove just too much.

Of the eight remaining teams, two out of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid will be this year’s finalists. We will check back after the semis, to see how our prediction went.

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