There are four places left in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with the titleholders of Spain, Italy, France and Greece among the teams hoping to progress when the first knockout round concludes this week.
On Tuesday, FC Internazionale Milano take a 2-1 lead to Chelsea FC, with much of the pre-match focus sure to centre on José Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge. Inter will be more concerned with ending a run of three successive last-16 eliminations, although Chelsea will be a tough proposition having reached the semi-finals in five of the last six campaigns. They are also unbeaten in 21 home UEFA Champions League matches.
Sevilla FC have a similarly imposing home record as they welcome PFC CSKA Moskva to Andalusia following a 1-1 first-leg draw. The Spanish side have won all three previous matches against Russian visitors at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán although CSKA can take heart from their only previous trip to Spain – a 3-2 win at FC Barcelona in the 1992/93 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round, a result that eliminated the then-holders.
Barça are in action on Wednesday night, VfB Stuttgart taking their unbeaten away record in this season's competition to the Camp Nou on the back of a 1-1 draw in Germany. The holders, however, have been victorious in their last nine games against Bundesliga visitors and recorded home and away wins in the 2007/08 group stage against Stuttgart, who have never won in Spain.
Olympiacos FC must become only the second team to recover from losing the first leg at home in the UEFA Champions League era if they are to oust FC Girondins de Bordeaux, 1-0 winners in Piraeus on Matchday 7. As if the weight of history was not enough, Laurent Blanc's side won all three games at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in the group stage, have won their last six UEFA Champions League matches and kept four successive clean sheets while Olympiacos failed to score in their three away games in Group H.
Arsenal FC, FC Bayern München, Manchester United FC and Olympique Lyonnais have already booked their places in the quarter-final draw, which will take place in Nyon, Switzerland, at 12.00CET on 19 March. It will be conducted by UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino together with the ambassador for the Madrid final, Emilio Butragueño, with clubs from the same national association able to be drawn against each other.
The quarter-final first legs are scheduled for 30/31 March and the returns on 6/7 April. The pairings for the semi-finals, which will be played on 20/21 and 27/28 April, will also be decided, while there will also be a draw to determine whether the winner of semi-final 1 or 2 will be considered the home side in the final on Saturday 22 May at Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu.
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