The path to the final in Paris is clear after the draw for the last eight and semifinals of the competition. The possibility of a big game at the Stade de France is still alive, with the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid both making it to the final.
The full draw shows that Real Madrid will be getting Chelsea.
There were three English teams and three Spanish clubs that made it to the last eight, but no match between the two countries in the quarterfinals. Real Madrid will be the opponents for the second season in a row, while City must beat Manchester United to have a chance of winning the title. The six-time winners will face off against the Portuguese club, while the Spanish club will face the Italians.
The winner of Real and Chelsea will face each other in the semifinals, while the other semifinal will see the winner of City and Atleti face off.
Who is most likely to meet in the semis and final is unknown.
The odds are listed from a bookmaker.
Real Madrid -105 to advance.
The first game will be a repeat of last season's semifinal, in which the Blues beat Manchester City in the final to win their second European title. In five meetings against Real, the English club has won three and drawn two.
The tie of the quarterfinals is the most closely matched. Although they have struggled to keep up with the other teams in the league, they are in third position and have beaten Lille in the last round. The off-field uncertainty surrounding the club following U.K. government sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich, who is attempting to sell the team, have not had an impact on results for Thomas Tuchel's side.
Carlo Ancelotti's team will consider themselves as favorites because of their dramatic fightback against Paris Saint-Germain and their 10 point lead at the top of La Liga. Luka Modric is enjoying a renaissance at the age of 36 years old, while Benzema is displaying Ballon d'Or-winning form for Real this season. Real have the edge because of their lack of a box-to-box midfielder, which allows them to exploit their lack of mobility.
Kai Havertz can always make it count in a big game, but there are too many questions over Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. If Havertz does not perform, there will be problems.
Who wins? Real Madrid.
Man City +450 and Atletico Madrid +300 advanced.
This will be the first meeting between City and Atleti, but the two teams have a lot of history in the European competition, with Atleti eliminating the coach of the previous season in the semifinals.
While City will be strong favorites to win this tie, the style clash will ensure an intriguing encounter, and it will be difficult for City if Simeone can inspire the type of attritional performances his team have become renowned for. The time and space on the ball that makes City the most complete passing team in the world will be denied by Atleti, so the City coach will have to think outside the box.
Juls and Gab wonder how the man will deal with facing two teams in eight days.
While Atleti can suffocate games, their attacking threat is not as sharp as it has been in the past, with Luis Suarez fading force because of fitness concerns andAntoine Griezmann still searching for his best form since returning on loan from Barcelona last summer. Joao Felix will cause problems.
In the last round, Man United showed that they can be caught out on the counter attack, but their mistake of hitting crosses and long balls into the penalty area will not be repeated by City. City will go through if Guardiola trusts his players and keeps it simple. The team will be in the tie until the end.
Who wins? Manchester City.
The teams advanced by 500 and 900.
The surprise of the last round was that Unai Emery's Villarreal beat Juventus in the second leg, but they have a strong European reputation having beaten Manchester United to win the Europa League last season. Despite Emery's tactical ability and track record of having won four Europa Leagues as a coach, the Champions League is a different matter. With only a few weeks to go in the LaLiga season, it was great to have been matched with a team that is seventh.
With the threat of goals from Arnaut Danjuma and Gerard Moreno, Villarreal will try to stifle the game with a defensive game-plan. In the round of 16 against FC Salzburg, they showed that they are capable of overwhelming any opponent in ruthless fashion with attacking quality including Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane.
The only team left in the competition that hasn't conceded a goal is Bayern, who have 30 goals in the competition. By the time they prepare for the semifinals, it's likely that they'll be the top scorer and the only team without a loss.
Who wins? They call it the "Bayern Munich."
To advance to the next round.
The bad news is that the most recent meeting between the two clubs happened in the 2005-06 round of 16 when Benfica defeated the reigning European champion. Nelson Verissimo's team will need more than history to progress to the semifinals, as they are strong favorites to win this tie.
The ability to upset the odds has been displayed by Benfica. The Portuguese team qualified from the group stage thanks to a win over Barcelona in Lisbon. The round-of-16 success against a highly rated team highlighted the capabilities of Benfica.
Darwin Nunez has four goals in eight games in the European Championship, while Roman Yaremchuk and Rafa Silva have also scored. There would be some football irony if he broke his duck against the Reds, as he has yet to score in 11 games this season.
Nicolas Otamendi and Jan Vertonghen may prove to be a problem for Benfica against fast-flowing attacks. In the group stage of the competition, the team that scored nine goals in two games against Benfica was the one that would know where their weaknesses were.
If they can start well in the first game of the season, they may be able to make life difficult for the Reds.
Who wins? It'sLiverpool.
We can look forward to Man City vs. Real Madrid in the semifinals and the final if the quarterfinals go to plan.
It is difficult to see Real being good enough to beat City over two legs. Having reached the final for the first time last season, there are no excuses for the players or the coach.
The winner of the first semi will face City in the final, which would be difficult to call. Even though they lost to the Reds in the final of the competition, the forward line is even better than that of the Reds.
Home advantage in the second leg of the match could swing the balance in favor of the home team. I am backing the winner of the game to face Man City in the final in Paris on May 28.