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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has given his predictions on which teams will qualify for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals after the recently concluded quarter-final draw.
The remaining eight teams in the competition were informed of their Champions League last-eight fate in Nyon, France, on Friday (March 17). Real Madrid will play Chelsea in a repeat of last year’s quarter-final clash, which Los Blancos won 5-4 on aggregate in spectacular fashion.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, will play against Manchester City. Napoli have been handed a tricky tie against AC Milan, who won the Scudetto last season.
Gli Azzurri are top of the table this campaign and lead the fourth-placed Rossoneri by 20 points after 26 games. Inter Milan, meanwhile, have been handed an arguably favorable draw on paper with SL Benfica.
Giving his predictions on Twitter, Ferdinand wrote:
“Qualifying….. Real [Madrid], [Man] City, Inter [Milan], Napoli.”
Out of the remaining eight teams, Manchester City, Napoli and SL Benfica have not won the UEFA Champions League/European Cup in their history. The Cityzens came close to doing it in the 2020-21 season but were defeated by Chelsea in the final.
Napoli, meanwhile, were recently backed by former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker to go all the way and win the Champions League this term. He claimed (h/t Mirror):
“Really enjoy watching Napoli. They play such exciting football. Had a very rare bet on them to win the Champions League this season some months ago.”
Napoli have been unstoppable in Italy this season and beat last season’s Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate in the last 16 earlier this month. However, they have never made it into the semi-finals of the Champions League in their history.
Potter reacts to Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League last-eight draw
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has claimed that he is feeling excited to face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League last eight this season.
The Blues lost 5-4 to Madrid on aggregate in last year’s UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Chelsea lost the first leg 3-1 but scored thrice at the Santiago Bernabeu in the return leg to take the lead in the tie.
However, Rodrygo Goes and Karim Benzema’s late goals for Los Merengues sealed the tie. They went on to win the title by defeating Liverpool in the final.
Giving his verdict on his team being drawn against the 14-time winners of the competition, Potter said (h/t Football.London):
“The feeling is excitement but I’d rather speak about Everton right now as that’s the game tomorrow. The other stuff is far away.”
The first leg takes place at the Bernabeu on April 12, with the return leg taking place six days later at Stamford Bridge.