If you ask the football purists, Chelsea versus Manchester United is not the marquee tie they prayed for. They’d have loved Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid to face their arch enemies Barcelona, or indeed one of his former clubs, Inter Milan or Chelsea. This will not be the case, at least for the quarter-finals of the 2010/2011 Champions League competition.
Instead, everyone will attempt to live on the hype of an all English tie, which without arguments is still a clash to look forward to. Although when the draws were made Friday afternoon, we all anticipated bigger clashes, Chelsea and Manchester United are still European heavyweights on all scales. The importance and relevance of the clash will be heightened by Alex Ferguson’s recent 5-match ban. A punishment imposed after his rant against the referee in their Premier League clash earlier this month. You can expect the three fixtures (Chelsea go to Old Trafford in the League) to be explosive.
Having said so, Barcelona should breeze past Shakhtar, Inter faces a tricky tie against German underdogs, Schalke 04, while Mourinho returns to his beloved England to play Tottenham Hotspurs.
In my opinion, I expect Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan to progress to the semi-finals. Or what do you think?
FULL DRAWS OF THE CL Quarters:
Madrid v Spurs;
Chelsea v ManUtd;
Barcelona v Shakhtar;
Inter v Schalke