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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Schedule and Line up of Champions League 08-09 Quarter Finals

(This entry was originally published on Friday, March 20th, 2009)

The quarter final draw of Champions League 08-09 has just been concluded. Here, in this entry. Manchester United was drawn with FC Porto and no doubt, the defending champions must be happy with this. Arsenal also has nothing to worry about after being drawn with Spanish club Villarreal in the quarter final. However, the heart-breaking news for English football fans is that Chelsea and Liverpool have been drawn together in the last eight of the competition. Bayern Munich would have to face Spanish giants Barcelona and it would be interesting to see if the Germans can continue their high-flying form of recent against Barcelona who are looking to bring back their 2006 Champions league success in the ongoing season of Champions league.

Here, I am giving the quarter final line up of Champions League 2008-09:

Champions League 2008-09

Quarter Final Line up

Dates

Competing Teams

1st Leg

2nd Leg

7 April

2009

15 April

2009

Villarreal

(Spain)

Arsenal

(England)

7 April

2009

15 April

2009

Manchester

United

(England)

FC Porto

(Portugal)

8 April

2009

14 April

2009

Liverpool

(England)

Chelsea

(England)

8 April

2009

14 April

2009

Barcelona

(Spain)

Bayern

Munich

(Germany)

Winners of Villarreal vs Arsenal and Manchester United vs FC Porto will meet in the semi final, and thus, you can experience a mouth-watering semi final tie between Manchester Unite and Arsenal. The winner of Liverpool vs Chelsea tie would face the winner of Barcelona vs Bayern Munich in the semi final. So, this is a tricky one to guess who are going to make it to the last four.

Champions League 2008-09 seems to have been pretty much exciting now with some favorites as well as some dark horses are already through to the quarter final. No doubt, English clubs are in dominant form as four English giants: defending champion Manchester United, last year’s beaten finalists Chelsea, five-time winner Liverpool and 2006 finalists Arsenal- have progressed into the last 8 of the tournament and there are many who think that Champions League title of this season would also go to England.

Well, Barcelona is also a big contender for the title. They have a strong squad in the presence of stars like Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi. Messi’s creative touch can steal the show against any team at any point of time. Henry has found a big part of his form this season, while Eto’o has been in sparkling form so far this season. Bayern Munich seems to be a dark house in the competition and they can present a surprise to the football fans defeating a favorite team. Specially, after their back-to-back routing over Sporting Lisbon in the first knock-out round, no other team can take the German club lightly. Villarreal is also through to the quarter final, though they were not expected to come this far in Europe. They have a balanced squad, but not as strong as some other big clubs in Europe. Portuguese club FC Porto will be looking to bring back their 2004 success in Champions league.

However, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona- these five clubs are the favorites for this season. To be honest, when there are five favorites and some quality dark horses, you can guess the level of competition this season. Manchester United is the defending champion and they have a very big squad featuring some of today’s best footballers, and thus, I think, they are hot favorite to defend their title this season. Chelsea’s revitalized form under new manager Guus Hiddink indicates that they would not leave any stone unturned to surpass their last season’s success.

Arsenal has found Villarreal in the league and I think, the Gunners should not have a big problem to make it to the last four in Champions league this season. With Walcott, Eduardo back, and Adebayor is likely to be fit before the first leg, I think, Arsenal would be through to the next round. Liverpool has been in sparkling form of recent, but they have to face revitalized Chelsea. So, the task would not be easy for the Rafael Benitez boys.

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