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UEFA Champions League quarter-finals: What to look out for on Wednesday

Chelsea and quarter-final debutants Napoli will be wary of their opponents' pedigree when the last-eight first legs continue on Wednesday.

Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Chelsea's Kai Havertz
Napoli's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Chelsea's Kai Havertz

The UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw, as always, has thrown up some intriguing sub-plots and heavyweight contests.

Presented by Turkish Airlines, we pick out some of the key storylines ahead of the second set of first legs for the last-eight ties on 12 April.

Lampard to the rescue as Chelsea tackle Madrid

2022 highlights: Real Madrid 2-3 Chelsea

In contrast to Benfica and Inter, the latter stages of this competition tend to bring out the best in Real Madrid and Chelsea. Inconsistent in the Premier League this season, the Blues can take heart from how they came agonisingly close to an astonishing comeback against Madrid at this stage last year. Carlo Ancelotti's side needed extra time then and the 63-year-old ended that campaign by becoming the first coach to win the trophy four times.

With Graham Potter dismissed as manager on 2 April, Chelsea have brought in former midfielder Frank Lampard to take charge for the remainder of the season. In his previous spell as Blues boss, he led the club to the 2019/20 round of 16 (where they lost out to Bayern), and top spot in their Champions League group in the following season before he was dismissed in January 2021 after a disappointing run of domestic results. His successor, Thomas Tuchel, went on to win the competition with Chelsea that season. Can Lampard match him this time around?

Spalletti wary of Milan's history and renaissance

Highlights: Napoli 3-0 Frankfurt

A 20-point chasm separated Napoli and Milan in Serie A when they were pulled out of the hat together, a gap made more remarkable by the fact the former are in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history while the Rossoneri are seven-time European champions. "We were so happy because we achieved a historic milestone," said Partenopei coach Luciano Spalletti, who went on to downplay the significance of Milan's erratic campaign.

"I'd have preferred not to face an Italian side," said the 64-year-old. "Only fools would say this a favourable draw. Only Real Madrid have won more trophies in this competition than Milan so their record speaks for itself. Everyone knows that having experience on the international stage is crucial. In this regard, Milan are the favourites. They also knocked out a great team in Tottenham [in the round of 16]. Milan are constantly improving. They've got past a blip in their season and have got themselves sorted."

Where is the 2023 Champions League final?

UEFA via Getty Images

The 2022/23 Champions League season will conclude at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium on Saturday 10 June 2023.

Built to support Türkiye's bid to stage the 2008 Olympic Games, the venue opened in 2002 and is home to the Turkish national team. Situated in the Başakşehir area of the city, west of the Bosphorus, it boasts a seated capacity of over 75,000.