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Quartet vie for semi-final spots

Published: Tuesday 4 April 2006, 19.54CET
With Villarreal CF and AC Milan already having booked their places in the semi-finals tonight's remaining last-eight ties will decide who faces them.
by John Mathews
 

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Published: Tuesday 4 April 2006, 19.54CET

Quartet vie for semi-final spots

With Villarreal CF and AC Milan already having booked their places in the semi-finals tonight's remaining last-eight ties will decide who faces them.

The lineup for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League will become known tonight when Arsenal FC, Juventus, FC Barcelona and SL Benfica vie for the remaining two places in the last four after Villarreal CF and AC Milan edged through on Tuesday.

Gunners firing
Competition debutants Villarreal will face the winners of the tie between Arsenal and Juve after overcoming FC Internazionale Milano last night, and the Premiership outfit did their chances of reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their history a power of good after defeating Juve 2-0 in the first leg at Highbury. Goals from Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry make Arsenal favourites to progress, particularly as Juventus will be without the suspended trio of Mauro Camoranesi, Jonathan Zebina and Patrick Vieira for the return game in Turin.

Barça braced
Not too far to the south-west Barcelona have home advantage at the Camp Nou as they welcome Benfica in a tie which remains scoreless after a stalemate in Lisbon. With the privilege of playing at home also comes the peril of conceding an away goal, which is something Benfica coach Ronald Koeman can at least claim to have avoided as he returns to the club he once helped win the European Champion Clubs' Cup. The victors' reward will be a daunting tie against Milan after last year's losing finalists scored twice in the closing moments against Olympique Lyonnais to progress into the last four again.

Last updated: 04/04/06 23.55CET

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