SPORTS

Champion's League Quarterfinal Draw is Set

  • The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, March 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

    The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, March 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

  • The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, March 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

    The group formations are shown on an electronic panel after the drawing of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Friday, March 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

The Champions League draw is set and the top guns are avoiding each other – for now.

Chelsea will play English rival Manchester United, and nine-time winner Real Madrid was paired with Tottenham in Friday's draw for the quarterfinals.

Favorite Barcelona will meet Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, possibly the weakest team left in Europe's elite club competition. Defending champion Inter Milan will take on Schalke.

If Spanish rivals Barcelona and Madrid both progress, they would meet in the semifinals. They already play each other twice next month, first in the league and then in the final of the Copa del Rey.

The two team's stars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, are also engaged in a battle to see who the top scorer will be in La Liga.

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The first legs of the quarterfinals take place on April 5-6, with the return matches a week later.

Madrid, coached by two-time Champions League winner José Mourinho, is through to the last eight for the first time since 2004. It faces a Spurs team that finished at the top of its group, above Inter, and eliminated AC Milan in the last 16 in its first season in the competition.

Chelsea's pairing with United means England's two most successful clubs in recent years will play three times in the span of a month, as they also meet in the Premier League on May 7.

United beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final in Moscow to become European champions for the third time.

Barcelona has lost just once in the Champions League and once in the Spanish league this season, making Pep Guardiola's side the favorite for the trophy.

Shakhtar topped its group and beat AS Roma with a combined score of 6-2 in the first knockout round, so will not be taken lightly by Barcelona.

Inter will play a German team for the second straight round, having beaten Bayern Munich in the last 16 in a repeat of the 2010 final in Madrid. The Italian side is looking to become the first club to successfully defend the Champions League in its current format.

The Champions League is one of the most popular tournaments in the world, with the 2010 final between Barcelona and Manchester United registering as the most watched sporting event in the world for that year. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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