The UEFA Champions League will resume on April 7, 2009 as the Quarter-finals get underway! After an tense Round of 16, only eight teams are left in the competition for Europe’s most prestigious club prize! For the second year in a row, all four English teams have advanced to the Quarter-finals, where they’ll be joined by Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Villarreal, and Porto!
In the Round of 16, the lottery gods gave us some great matchups between some of the greatest teams in European history, including several ties between teams that hadn’t played each other in a long time. If novelty was the name of the game in the previous round, then familiarity and revenge are the dominant themes in this round.
All four matchups boast some kind of vengeance factor, epitomized by the fifth consecutive meeting between Liverpool and Chelsea in the Champions League. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it can sometimes breed competitiveness as well. If that’s the case, then each of these Quarterfinal matchups should be an instant classic.
Defending champions Manchester United will look to shrug off their recent slump and avenge one of their most heartbreaking Champions League losses of all time when they face 2003-2004 champions Porto. Revenge will be another subplot as Villarreal will clash with Arsenal in a rematch of the 2005-2006 Semi-Finals. Additionally, Liverpool and Chelsea have battled each other so many times in the Champions League that both sides have a reason to be vengeful towards the other.
Revenge will also be a factor when Bayern Munich will take on Barcelona, even though the two traditional powerhouses haven’t met in the Champions League since the 1998-1999 season, when Bayern defeated Barcelona twice in the group stages. Those losses helped knock the Catalans out of the competition, which was especially painful since it cost them a chance of playing in the Final, which was held at the Nou Camp.
Here’s a detailed preview for each matchup:
2008/09 UEFA Champions League
Tuesday April 7 / Wednesday April 15
|Villarreal vs. Arsenal|
|Manchester United vs. FC Porto|
Wednesday April 8 / Tuesday April 14
|Liverpool vs. Chelsea|
|Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich|
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