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‘Preferably not Barca'

FCB gear up for quarter-final draw

The Champions League quarter-final line-up is complete. On Wednesday evening, Girondins Bordeaux and holders Barcelona joined Bayern, Arsenal, Manchester United, Olympique Lyon, CSKA Moscow and Inter Milan in the last eight.

Bordeaux, twice winners against FCB at the group stage, were a goal up going into their home leg against Olympiakos and duly secured their passage with a 2.1 win. Barca turned on the style against outclassed VfB Stuttgart, running up a thumping 4-0 victory to emerge 5-1 winners on aggregate.

No restrictions in draw

The eight clubs now turn their attention to UEFA’s Nyon headquarters in Switzerland, where the draw for the quarter-finals takes place from midday on Friday. There are no restrictions on who can be drawn against whom at this stage, and no seedings either. All the teams can be drawn against any of the others, including teams from the same country. The last eight ties will be played on 30 or 31 March, and 6 or 7 April. The semi-final pairings will also be drawn on Friday.

“I’d like Inter Milan,” revealed Bastian Schweinsteiger in Wednesday’s Live Chat session, hoping for a reunion with former Munich stalwart Lucio: “If we play to our potential, we’re stronger than Inter.” However, the Germany international is suspended for the first leg after reaching three yellow cards in the competition so far. “I always prefer it when we play a big name rather than one of the so-called smaller clubs,” he said.

FCB as dangerous underdogs

In captain Mark van Bommel’s opinion, there are no ‘smaller’ clubs once you reach the quarter-finals. The Netherlands midfielder has no preference in terms of opponents, “although I’d rather not face Barcelona.” Van Bommel and company lost 5-1 on aggregate to the powerful Catalans at the same stage last season.

Bayern are determined to avoid a similar fate this year. “We rate as dangerous underdogs in the Champions League – nothing more and nothing less,” said Van Bommel.

Champions League quarter-final line-up:
Bayern, Inter, CSKA Moscow, Olympique Lyon, Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, Girondins Bordeaux