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AFP
July 11, 2020

CL draw offers possibility Barcelona-Bayern clash in Lisbon

Sports

AFP
July 11, 2020

PARIS: Barcelona and Bayern Munich will meet in a blockbuster Champions League quarter-final should both sides make it through, after Friday’s draw for the latter stages of the competition which will be played out in Lisbon in August following a long suspension because of the coronavirus.

Barca and Bayern, who have each won five European Cups, are hoping to be among the eight teams who will head to the Portuguese capital for a ‘Final Eight’ mini tournament behind closed doors, with the final on August 23 at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz.

Bayern, who won their eighth straight German Bundesliga title last month, already have one foot in the quarter-finals having won 3-0 away to Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 tie in March, while Barcelona have more work to do after a 1-1 draw with Napoli in the first leg in Italy.

“We all know what’s happened, but football is back now and we’re up for the Champions League campaign,” Guillermo Amor, Barcelona’s director of institutional relations, told UEFA.com.

Meanwhile, if Manchester City can finish the job in their last-16 tie against record 13-time European champions Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola’s team will go on to a quarter-final against either Juventus or Lyon.

City won 2-1 in Madrid in the first leg in March and are well placed to advance to the mini tournament in Lisbon in what could be their last chance to win the coveted trophy for a while -- they are due to be banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons for breaches of Financial Fair Play rules, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Juventus must overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg of their last-16 tie against Lyon. Postponed in March as the pandemic took over, all remaining last 16 second legs are due to be played on August 7 and 8.

The winners will advance to the Final Eight, which will be held as a unique straight knockout tournament in Lisbon due to the difficulties caused by the coronavirus.

The draw threw up the possibility of a Clasico semi-final, with Barcelona and Madrid on a collision course to meet in the last four should both make it that far.