Manchester City and Chelsea have round of 16 fixtures against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively. UEFA have outlined their plans for a conclusion to the Champions League campaign in August by compiling a provisional calendar for the remaining fixtures in the competition.
The Champions League was suspended in mid-March, midway through the Round of 16 stages, due to the coronavirus crisis and there are still a number of matches to play at that stage, as well as the entire round of quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final, due to be played in Istanbul.
Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund were both knocked out of the competition prior to the suspension, with Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain sealing their spot in the knockout stages of the competition alongside Atalanta and RB Leipzig.
Four second-leg Round of 16 fixtures need to be played though, consisting of Bayern Munich vs Chelsea, Manchester City vs Real Madrid, Juventus vs Lyon and Barcelona vs Napoli.
UEFA and relevant club bosses met via video-conference on Wednesday, where the desire to complete this year’s Champions League was made clear, and they also outlined for the remaining games of the competition to be played in August, starting with the four remaining last 16 matches, on the weekend of August 8.
French outlet RMC Sport suggests that Lyon’s clash with Juventus is provisionally scheduled for that date, with quarter-final ties then taking place the following midweek.
However, there remains uncertainty over the format to the latter stages of the competition and whether home-away ties are suitable for the current global climate, which could lead to single-leg matches held at neutral venues.
That would help to reduce the risk of fans gathering outside the stadium with matches behind closed doors, which was witnessed in Paris when PSG defeated Borussia Dortmund prior to the competition’s suspension.
As mentioned above, Chelsea still have to face Bayern Munich in the second leg.
Frank Lampard’s side will have a massive mountain to climb following a 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in February, but perhaps the long wait to complete the tie could work in the Blues’ favour.
With that said, Bayern might have the advantage in terms of match sharpness after German chancellor Angela Merkel gave the go-ahead for the Bundesliga to resume in the coming weeks.
Germany’s top flight is set to become the first of Europe’s top leagues to return following the coronavirus crisis after their plans received government approval.
A leaked document has suggested that the return was to be pushed back with a two-week quarantine of all teams put in place, which would push the return back until May 22, but have since been removed.
The German government has now given approval for the Bundesliga to return in mid-May, with the league given the ability to decide on the dates themselves, which is expected to be Friday May 15.