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Who Man Utd can face in Champions League quarter-final draw

It’s the first time in five years that Manchester United have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Marcus Rashford’s controversial last-minute penalty at the Parc des Princes ensured their passage to the last eight as they knocked out PSG on away goals.

Trailing by two goals from the first leg and travelling to the French capital with a squad depleted by injuries and suspensions, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side dug deep to snatch a dramatic 3-1 victory courtesy of a brace from Romelu Lukaku and the helping hand of VAR.

We’ve assessed the potential opposition United could face in the quarter-finals, which includes three other Premier League outfits…

AJAX

Ajax stunned Real Madrid to book their place in the quarter-finals

Ajax have been the surprise package of the Champions League so far this season.

The Dutch side have maintained their reputation for producing some exceptional talents, boasting an array of exciting and youthful players who have taken the European scene by storm so far this season.

Matthijs De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong and Kaspar Dolberg are just a few of the many upcoming stars of the future, but Ajax have been able to blend their sensational youth with a wealth of experience as the likes of Daley Blind, Lasse Schone and Dusan Tadic impose themselves on the squad.

Away from his inconsistent struggles at Southampton , Tadic has been in scintillating form this season and has been key to the Dutch sides success.

Manchester United were 2-0 victors in the Europa league final the last time these two sides met, but an encounter this time around could be a whole lot trickier.

Danger man: Hakim Ziyech

The Moroccan playmaker makes Ajax tick with his exceptional vision and ability to beat players with ease. His left-foot is something to keep an eye out for.

Hakim Ziyech has been especially impressive for Ajax this season

Manager: Erik ten Hag

Since replacing Marcel Keizer in December 2017, the 49-year-old boasts an incredible 73.3% win percentage at Ajax – 10% more than Frank de Boer, who won four consecutive titles between 2011 and 2014.

Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena

Named after the legendary Dutch midfielder Johan Cruyff, the 55,000 seater stadium is also home to the Netherlands national team.

Round of 16 result: Ajax 5-3 Real Madrid (aggregate)

Ajax stunned the Bernabeu with a mesmerising performance to send the holders Real Madrid crashing out of the competition.

Dusan Tadic shone as Erik ten Hag’s side romped to a famous 4-1 victory in the second leg, sending them through to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1997.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 25/1

Odds available from Paddy Power

BARCELONA

Barcelona comfortable saw off Lyon in the second leg of the Champions League

Seven points clear at the top of the La Liga and into the final of the Copa del Rey, the treble will definitely be on the minds for the Barcelona camp.

Barca have been back to their ruthless best as of late, and remain unbeaten in the Champions League this year after coasting through the group stage before dispatching Lyon in the last 16.

Lionel Messi has again been at the centre of the Catalan giants success, with the 31-year-old showing no signs of ageing with eight goals and three assists in just six games on the European front this season.

Led by Gerard Pique, Barca have also rediscovered their defensive resilience and the Spanish sides home record is admirable, having never been beaten at home in 30 Champions League games.

The last time United met Barcelona was in the memorable 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, when Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to a 3-1 win.

Danger man: Lionel Messi

Everyone knows the danger that the Argentine poses as he continues to weave his magic in Spain and in Europe. Two goals and two assists in the last 16 tie against Lyon speaks volumes of his world-class talent.

Lionel Messi is Barcelona’s key man… obviously

Manager: Ernesto Valverde

The 55-year-old won the double in his first season in charge at the Nou Camp, and will be looking to go at least one better in Europe this time out.

Stadium: Nou Camp

Barcelona’s record at this 99,000 seater stadium speaks for itself – they’ve lost just one game at home all season.

Round of 16 result: Barcelona 5-1 Lyon (aggregate)

After being held to a 0-0 draw by Bruno Genesio’s side in the first leg, Barcelona stepped it up a gear in the second leg and eased to a 5-1 victory.

Messi recorded two goals and two assists, which included a delightful solo goal, as Lyon were unable to contend with Barca’s overawing talent.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 7/2

Odds available from Paddy Power, making them second favourite for the competition.

JUVENTUS

Juventus overturned a two-goal deficit to real the final eight of the Champions League

You can just never write off the Italian giants, especially when they have a certain Cristiano Ronaldo amongst their ranks.

The Old Lady currently sit 18 points clear at the top of the Serie A and remain unbeaten, having won 24 and drawn three from 27 games.

Even the departure of Gianluigi Buffon has caused little to disrupt Juventus and their quest for European glory, with former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny filling the Italian’s gloves this season.

The two teams were paired together in Group H as Juventus went on to top the table, despite an own goal from Leonardo Bonucci giving Jose Mourinho’s side a 2-1 victory when they met in Turin..

Juventus and Manchester United have played each other on 14 occasions, with both teams winning six times.

Danger man: Cristiano Ronaldo

After leading Real Madrid to three consecutive Champions League successes, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has a new challenge on his hands with Juve. The Portuguese star continues to defy his critics and has since established himself as one of the greatest ‘big game players’.

Ronaldo just keeps on defying the odds and producing match-winning moments

Manager: Massimiliano Allegri

The one thing missing from Allegri’s sensational tenure at Juventus is the Champions League trophy.

The Italian has won the league and cup double every year since his arrival in 2014, and boasts the highest points per game ratio of all managers in Juve history.

Stadium: Allianz Stadium

The impressive Allianz Stadium has been the home of Juventus since 2011, following the demolition of the old Stadio delle Alpi.

Round of 16 result: Juventus 3-2 Atletico Madrid (aggregate)

After a 2-0 defeat in the opening leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, very few had given Juventus the chance of turning the tie around. Up stepped Cristiano Ronaldo, the author of all Atletico’s pain in recent years, to inspire the Old Lady to an epic comeback with his eighth Champions League hat-trick.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 7/2

Odds available from Paddy Power, making them joint second favourites with Barcelona.

LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are looking to make a second successive Champions League final

Proving that last year’s trip to Kiev was no fluke, Liverpool are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League once again and will be looking to go one step further than they did last year.

Although Jurgen Klopp’s side have surrendered their lead at the top of the Premier League to Manchester City , the Reds are still enjoying a superb season and have addressed the defensive woes that plagued them last season.

Virgil van Dijk is operating as one of the best centre-backs in the world currently, whilst the dynamic trio of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino pose a dangerous threat.

The possibility of a quarter-final clash between Liverpool and Manchester United is mouth-watering, especially when you consider the two rivals have never met in the Champions League before.

However Liverpool were victorious in the 2016 Europa League fixture between the pair, winning 3-1 on aggregate.

Danger man: Mohammed Salah

Salah is the key to Liverpool’s success. Alongside Mane and Firmino the Egyptian has blossomed, and Salah also has the incredible ability to turn games on their head, even if things aren’t going his way.

Salah remains the key man in the Liverpool XI

Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Two Champions League finals with no success for Klopp, and many would argue this could be his best chance to rectify that this season. His Liverpool transformation has won the plaudits of many, now all he needs is a trophy to consolidate his work.

Stadium: Anfield

There’s not many better sights on a Champions League night than Anfield and the decorated Kop.

Anfield is a difficult place to visit for any side, and United have first-hand experience of this.

Round of 16 result: Liverpool 3-1 Bayern Munich (aggregate)

After a tentative goalless draw in the first leg, Liverpool were triumphant in Munich as a brace from Mane and an excellent header from van Dijk sent the Reds marching through to the last eight.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 9/2

Odds available from Paddy Power

MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City were in rampant form to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Pep Guardiola’s side head into the Champions League quarter-final with a potential quadruple still on the cards.

Manchester City’s European domination hasn’t quite gone as planned, with the club’s best year coming in the 2016/17 season when they were knocked out by Real Madrid in the semi-final.

That could all change this season. City’s campaign is gathering momentum just at the right time and with a squad packed full of talent, poses the perfect opportunity for the Citizens to finally go all the way.

Sergio Aguero is in sensational form at the moment and the rise of Bernardo Silva in the absence of Kevin de Bruyne gives further evidence of Man City’s strength in depth.

The two Manchester clubs have never met in any European competition, yet in their last three league encounters, a minimum of three goals has been scored in each game – with the blue side victorious in two of them.

Danger man: Raheem Sterling

Sterling’s development in recent years has been excellent to watch, and the 24-year-old has established himself as a key player for both club and country. The winger is able to beat defenders with ease and his goalscoring record speaks volumes of what a dangerous player he can be.

Raheem Sterling has had a stunning season for Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Guardiola is now three years into his project at Manchester City, and after dominating English football for the last 18 months, will have European success high on his agenda. It’s hard to comprehend that Guardiola’s last Champions League final was in 2011, when Barcelona were victorious at Wembley.

Stadium: Etihad Stadium

City’s Etihad stadium may not be steeped in European history, but it doesn’t make it any less of a difficult ground to visit – Crystal Palace are the only side to leave with three points so far this campaign.

The South Stand extension in 2015 means its capacity now stands at 55,000.

Round of 16 result: Manchester City 10-2 Schalke (aggregate)

After falling behind and having a man sent off, City staged an excellent final five minutes in the first leg to beat Schalke in Germany.

The returning leg proved to be a procession for Guardiola’s men. There were six different scorers as City ran out 7-0 winners on the night and cruised to a 10-2 aggregate victory – the second biggest margin in Champions League knockout history.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 5/2

Odds available at Paddy Power, making Manchester City favourites.

PORTO

Porto overcame the odds to beat the Roma in the last-16

Porto are perhaps the one team that everybody would like to draw most, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook the Portuguese champions.

Ever since that memorable night in Gelsenkirchen 15 years ago where Jose Mourinho tasted Champions League success for the first time, Porto have made the quarter-finals of the competition just twice.

Sergio Conceicao’ side enter the last eight of the tournament with a team that boasts both talent and experience in abundance.

Iker Casillas now enters his 20th year of European football and has the gritty partnership of Felipe and Pepe in front of him.

The last encounter between Manchester United and Porto came during the 2008/09 season when United squeezed through to the semi-finals, eventually going onto the final which they lost to Barcelona.

Danger man: Alex Telles

The Brazilian left-backs form in recent seasons has attracted the attention of the two Madrid clubs, Real and Atletico. Defensively reliable, Telles contributes significantly to Porto’s attack when going forward, with seven assists to his name so far this year.

Alex Telles has made a big impression since being in the Porto side

Manager: Sergio Conceicao

After five barren years without a trophy, Conceicao led porto to the league title in his first season in charge of the Portuguese giants.

Similarly to his playing style, Conceicao’s teams display a strong, hard-working ethic and can be difficult to break down.

Stadium: Estadio de Dragao

Opened in 2003, the Dragao has been the modern home of Porto for 16 years.

With a capacity of 50,000, the stadium is set to host the upcoming UEFA Nations League Final in June.

Round of 16 result: Porto 4-3 Roma (aggregate)

A VAR reviewed penalty ensured Porto’s passage to the final eight as they defeated Roma in extra-time.

After finding themselves 2-1 down from the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, Porto clawed the game back to make it 3-3 on aggregate and send the game to extra-time.

It looked to be heading to penalties until Alessandro Florenzi was penalised for pulling down Fernando and Telles made no mistake from the spot.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 80/1

Odds available at Paddy Power

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Tottenham players celebrate Harry Kane’s goal which took them to the quarter-finals

Once again, Tottenham Hotspur continue to defy expectations, this time in the Champions League.

After a difficult start in the group stages, Spurs resurrected their hopes of qualifying by beating Inter Milan before securing their passage with a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp.

Despite their clear absence in squad depth, Spurs’ starting XI is good enough to compete with any team in Europe.

Harry Kane has consolidated his status as one of the top strikers in the world with his prolific nature, and with a fully fit trio of Son Heung-min, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli supporting him, will have plenty of ammunition to fire.

Two clean sheets against a free-scoring Dortmund side is a small indication of Tottenham’s defensive tenacity.

Danger man: Harry Kane

Kane carries the weight of Tottenham’s season on his shoulders, but the England star shows no sign of collapsing just yet as his career goes strength to strength. The forward has five goals to his name so far in the competition, and will be keen to add more.

Kane remains one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

The Argentine continues to work miracles with Spurs.

Without spending a penny in the last two transfer windows, Pochettino has sustained the club’s upward trajectory and has built stable foundations for future success.

However, the 47-year-old will be desperate to win a trophy with his current crop of players, can he pull off a Champions League upset?

Stadium: Wembley Stadium

Wembley remains to be Tottenham’s temporary home as the finishing touches are made to the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Spurs have been at Wembley since the start of the 17/18 season following the demolition of White Hart Lane.

Round of 16 result: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Borussia Dortmund (aggregate)

Lucien Favre’s Dortmund side were the favourites prior to this fixture with Spurs missing their talisman Kane through injury, but Pochettino’s team had other ideas and wrapped up most of their business in the first leg.

Goals from Son, Jan Vertonghen and Fernando Llorente gave Tottenham a three goal cushion heading to the Signal Iduna Park.

After surviving a first-half onslaught in the second leg, it was the returning Kane who broke the deadlock early in the second-half and Spurs coasted through into the quarter-finals.

Odds of winning the Champions League: 16/1

Odds available from Paddy Power

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