Manchester City will take on fellow English side Tottenham Hotspur in one of the more compelling matchups of the Champions League quarterfinals.
That match, alongside three others, was drawn on Friday by UEFA officials in Nyon, Switzerland.
EPL Rivals Playing Three Matches in Two Weeks
With four of the last eight teams coming from the English Premier League, it was highly likely that there would be at least one head-to-head matchup between EPL teams. Tottenham likely got the short end of the straw, playing league leaders Manchester City on April 9 and April 17.
Making the two-leg tie all the more compelling is the fact that the two teams will then play each other in what could be a critical EPL clash on April 20, meaning they will see each other three times in less than two weeks.
In addition, the first leg of the Champions League clash will take place in the new stadium for Spurs, only the second match scheduled to be played in Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. City is heavily favored to go through to the semifinals, with William Hill offering 1/5 odds on Man City, while Tottenham can be backed at 10/3.
Solskjaer Returns to Site of Champions League Glory
Two of Europe’s biggest traditional power will also be meeting up in the Champions League quarterfinals, as the surging Manchester United will take on Barcelona. The second leg in Barcelona could be particularly memorable for Manchester City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who famously scored the winning goal there in the 1999 Champions League final for United over Bayern Munich.
“It was the biggest night I’ve had in football,” Solskjaer told the Manchester United website in reaction to the draw. “Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night.”
The Red Devils will have to come up with something special to continue their Champions League run, however. Barcelona (1/4) is the clear favorite to advance over United (11/4) in the two-leg tie. Still, Solskjaer expressed excitement for the challenge.
“We want these games against the biggest clubs and the biggest teams,” Solskjaer said. “We are looking forward to this one.”
City Remains Slight Tournament Favorite
Other quarterfinal classes will see Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus (1/6) try to end the run of Dutch side Ajax (7/2), while EPL title contender Liverpool (1/6) takes on FC Porto (7/2).
At Friday’s draw, officials also announced the semifinal matches that will take place beginning on April 30. The winner of the Tottenham/Manchester City clash will battle the Ajax/Juventus winner, while either Manchester United or Barcelona will face Liverpool or Porto in the other semifinal.
With all four matches having a clear favorite, there was an immediate shift in the odds on what club will ultimately win the Champions League this season. While Man City remains a 9/4 favorite, Juventus (3/1), Barcelona (3/1), and Liverpool (7/2) are all close behind them, while the other four clubs are listed at 16/1 or worse.