After a barely-believable turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round of the Champions League, Manchester United now wait to find out which of the other remaining teams will be their opponents in the quarterfinals. The draw takes place on Friday at 11:00 GMT.
There are some very strong teams left in the competition that we’d probably prefer to avoid, not one, but two hated local rivals, and one or two destinations that would be fun for a trip, no matter if we win or lose. Let’s take a quick look at the possibilities, then you can have your say in the poll and the comments below.
With all due respect to Erik ten Hag’s hugely talented young Amsterdam outfit, we’d take this in a heartbeat, wouldn’t we? Ajax had perhaps the most impressive Round of 16 second leg comeback (and we certainly know a thing or two about that), as they were massive underdogs against Real Madrid. Still, they went into the Bernabeu and comprehensively embarrassed the winners of the last three trophies. So, clearly a dangerous side, but arguably one of the weakest of the teams left in the competition.
Verdict: The Daley Blind derby? Yes, please!
Barça are having an odd season. The blaugrana are on track to win La Liga at a relative canter, and haven’t lost a meaningful game since November. Still, this version of the team doesn’t look as fearsome as some others in recent years, and there is a sense that they have a soft center that can be exploited. That said, they should be considered the favorites to win the whole thing. Also: Messi.
Verdict: Avoid at all costs.
On one hand, Juve will hold little fear for this United team, the Reds having already won in Turin once this campaign (the only team to do so, we might add). On the other, that was so long ago it may as well have been last season. Juventus have improved since then and extended their Serie A lead to SPL levels, and while United have improved as well, it is in a vastly different style team than the one that proved the bianconeri’s undoing back in November. Plus, there’s you-know-who to be the ultimate difference maker.
Verdict: No thanks.
Forever in our shadow, Liverpool went ahead and beat a pre-tournament favorite 3-1 in their own house. A week after we already did it, and better. If we lose to them, it will sting for a long time. If we beat them, we can laugh at them all summ-...unless, we knock them out of the last cup competition they’re in, allowing them to be fresher and more focused for the Premier League run-in. Oh god no.
Verdict: We’re going to be sick.
This year’s Champions League is worryingly open, and City are scoring goals like nobody’s business and have been almost unstoppable since the turn of the year. If we’re going to avoid the Doomsday Scenario, we may just have to do it ourselves.
Verdict: Four Manchester derbies in April. Let’s have it.
Porto will be tricky opponents, even though they’ve had arguably the easiest ride of any of the quarterfinalists. Along with Ajax, they may be United’s most viable path to the semi-finals.
Verdict: We’ll have some of that.
Spurs round out the four Premier League representatives in this stage. This draw would give us an exciting young team, with a promising manager committed to attacking football. And Spurs as well. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already beaten Mauricio Pochettino once during his reign, so who’s to say he can’t do it again.
Verdict: If there’s to be an all-English tie, this one suits us best.
Who would you look United to face next in the Champions League?
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