Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Chelsea are the four teams battling for a spot in this season's Champions League final.
We're down to the last quartet, which, of course, means a quick zip over to Nyon is needed to see who faces who in the semi-finals. Will we see an all-Spanish tie? How about a rerun of 2012's Anglo-German final? However the draws fall, enticing matches are guaranteed to ensue.
These are the last two-legged ties on the road to Lisbon's showpiece, meaning that the dreaded away goal remains in effect. Chelsea are the only side to have progressed through the last round via this route after drawing 3-3 with Paris Saint-Germain but netting at the Parc des Princes.
Here's all you need to know about the draw, live stream and remaining challengers.
Date: Friday, April 11
Time: 11 a.m. BST/12 p.m. CET
Live Stream: UEFA.com
Below is a detailed look at the final four, complete with each team's odds of winning the entire tournament. It's worth noting first-leg ties will take place on April 22-23 and second-leg fixtures one week later on April 29-30.
|Team||Odds of winning competition (before SF draw)|
bet365, via oddschecker.com
The holders faced an examination of patience during their quarter-final tie with Manchester United. Drawing 1-1 after the first leg, Pep Guardiola's team sprung into life directly after their defensive opponents took a shock aggregate lead through Patrice Evra's wonder strike, as noted by OptaJoe:
73 - Man Utd were ahead for 73 seconds before Bayern equalised. Memories.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2014
Bayern are understandable favourites. Having wrapped the Bundesliga up during March, Guardiola's men have little else to focus on. This is largely the team that captured last year's trophy with Thiago Alcantara added, ensuring the famous club have nothing to worry about no matter who is pulled from the hat.
Fixtures against Real Madrid would throw up the mouth-watering duel of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery against Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, although personal battles of this magnitude may be better saved for the Lisbon final.
Many will hope to see the European champions face Chelsea. The Blues overcame Bayern in their backyard to claim the 2012 prize, and the teams' managers have previous history from their time in Spain. Guardiola vs. Jose Mourinho is always a huge draw and would uncover a tactical battle for the ages.
Few expected Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid to progress this far. Even fewer believed it could happen this quickly.
Can Atletico Madrid win this year's Champions League?
Fresh from toppling Barcelona, the Rojiblancos have absolutely nothing to fear against any of the remaining three teams. Simeone has Atletico sweeping forward with intent, maintaining possession with confidence and keeping the defence locked.
Even more remarkably, Barca were toppled without the help of Diego Costa, who has notched 32 goals across La Liga and Europe this season, per WhoScored.com. While Chelsea would usually be outlined as the most favourable draw, the Spanish league leaders may wish to bypass Mourinho's men due to a very particular clause in Thibaut Courtois' loan contract.
Putting it bluntly, the Belgian stopper won't be able to play against his parent club, reported by Tancredi Palmeri of beinSPORT:
JUST IN (3): Atletico Madrid president to Onda Cero: "We can't afford the needed fee to make play Courtois vs Chelsea"— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) April 9, 2014
They won't. But if Atletico would start a subscription to pay the fee to make play Courtois, I would pay it. Then post it and campaigning— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) April 9, 2014
Courtois' clause was apparently agreed right afterwards European Supercup Chelsea-Atletico. The game pushed it!— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) April 10, 2014
If I would be Atletico director,I would do this: 20 € for Courtois' clause - you get 20€ discount on Atletico shirt. I know, I'm smart— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) April 10, 2014
Thoughts of an all-Madrid clash are sure to excite many, while facing Bayern would be the harshest of rewards for bypassing Barcelona.
Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid were lucky not to be punished after lacking intensity during their quarter-final second leg with Borussia Dortmund. Marco Reus' brace made the tie 3-2 on aggregate to the Spaniards, who highlighted why concentration is needed at all times in this competition.
There's no longer room for such sloppiness. Top of Real's list is sure to be Chelsea, allowing former Blues boss Ancelotti to face last year's Bernabeu coach Mourinho. The capital-based club may also wish to avoid Atletico in fear of a famous upset, but they would be more than happy to witness their neighbours duke it out with Bayern.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be key if he returns to fitness. The Portuguese star has netted 14 goals in this year's campaign—a truly remarkable output from eight games, per WhoScored.com. He will need to be in top form if Los Blancos are to advance, especially if Real are destined to capture La Decima this season.
Perhaps the least fashionable team left in the competition, being outsiders completely suits Chelsea. The West Londoners recently won the trophy under similar conditions, something Bayern know all too well.
Despite Mourinho suggesting he doesn't have a "real striker," per BBC Sport, it's his unappreciated trio who have kept Chelsea alive throughout the tournament. Demba Ba, Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres all have three goals apiece, recorded by UEFA, suggesting they will be vital to progression.
Ba proved his worth with the decisive goal against PSG, but in true Mourinho fashion, he will probably be benched for the next round.
Chelsea's transitional side have a real resiliency against tough opposition. We saw it during the Premier League win over Manchester City, and indeed, against the aforementioned French champions. Mourinho's squad will need to work extremely hard against any of the three potential opponents, but they will fancy Atletico the most.
It would be quietly hilarious if Mourinho indirectly helped Real to European success by eliminating Bayern or Atletico and losing in the final, especially considering the charismatic boss failed to win the Champions League during his time in Spain.