The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws set up a potential 'David and Goliath' final
The 2022/23 UEFA Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws have been held in Nyon, Switzerland with all eight teams made aware of their fate for the rest of the tournament.
UEFA Champions League quarter-final draws
Real Madrid v Chelsea and Bayern Munich v Manchester City are the standout games of the last eight which will also see Inter Milan play Benfica while Napoli and AC Milan go toe to toe in an all-Italian clash.
And while the quarter-final fixtures are doing more than enough to whet the appetite, the semi-final pairings reveal the path to a potentially one-sided final.
UEFA Champions League semi-final draws
Tne semi-final draws put the winners of quarter-final 1 against the winners of quarter-final 3 while the victors of quarter-finals 2 and 4 will play the second semi.
That means either Chelsea or Real Madrid will face either Manchester City or Bayern Munich, setting up another big game in the semis.
Benfica will play against Inter Milan for a chance to advance to the semis where the winners of AC Milan v Napoli will be waiting.
David v Goliath in the UEFA Champions League final
Many may not realise it yet but the draws pretty much split the competition in half, with the top teams on one side and the lesser-fancied teams on the other side.
Real Madrid, the most successful team in the history of this competition will face Chelsea in what is a repeat of last season's quarter-finals en route to Los Blancos clinching their 14th Champions League trophy.
In fact, this game also signifies the meeting of the last two winners of this competition, the sort of pedigree worthy of the Champions League final.
The other teams on that side of the draw are Manchester City and Bayern Munich, two teams who have comfortably been the best clubs in their respective countries.
And although City do not quite have the Champions League pedigree Bayern possesses as six-time winners, it would not be a surprise by any means to see them in a final especially since they lost the 2021 final and got knocked out of the semi-final last year.
On the other side of the draw are four teams that would not have been a lot of people's favourites to reach the final before the tournament kicked off in September,
But by the luck of the draw, we are guaranteed to see any one of Benfica, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan in the final in Istanbul.
Benfica have won the Champions League twice before, in 1961 and 62 when it was still the European Cup but they have since fallen off from those levels.
Beating Inter Milan would send them to their first semi-final in this competition since 1972 and their opponents are also similarly treading new ground.
Inter Milan have won three UCL titles in 1964, 64 and most recently 2010 which was the last time they also played a semi-final game. In fact, this is only Inter's second quarter-final appearance since 2007.
The other quarter-final puts Napoli against AC Milan in an all-Italian clash and although only Real Madrid have won more UCL titles than them, the Rossoneri have fallen off badly in recent years.
This is AC Milan's first Champions League quarter-final since 2012 and they could qualify for their first semi-final since 2006 with a win against Napoli over two legs.
Speaking of Napoli, this is uncharted territory for them as they have already made history by qualifying for the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
They now have a good chance to take it several steps further with a clear path to the final if they can beat AC Milan and then the winner of Inter v Benfica.
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