Champions League quarter-finals: Leicester City to face Atlético Madrid

Ed Aarons
The Guardian
Champions League quarter-finals: Leicester City to face Atlético Madrid
Champions League quarter-finals: Leicester City to face Atlético Madrid

Leicester will face last year’s runners up Atlético Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, with Bayern Munich facing the holders Real Madrid.

The Premier League champions, who beat Sevilla in the last-16 in the second leg at the King Power Stadium, have twice been drawn against Atlético in the first round of the 1961 Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961 and the Uefa Cup first round in 1997, losing both ties.

Leicester will continue their remarkable run by travelling to the Spanish capital for the first leg on Wednesday, 12 April, with the second match taking place the following week.

The tie pits Leicester against one of the most consistent European teams of recent years. Diego Simeone’s side have reached the Champions League final in two of the last three seasons, losing to city rivals Real on both occasions, last year on penalties. They were also beaten by Real in the quarter-finals in 2015 and won the Europa League in 2012. The one encouraging factor for Leicester is Atlético have not been quite as strong in the league this season and sit fourth in La Liga, five points behind Sevilla.

“Facing a team who have reached the final in two of the last three seasons is a massive challenge but it’s just the kind of tie you expect in the quarter-finals of the Champions League,” said Craig Shakespeare, in charge of Leicester for the rest of this season.

“Atlético Madrid are a very good team with some fantastic individuals with experience in the competition, but we’ll be ready to give everything to progress. It will be a brilliant occasion for our supporters and for everyone at the club but, before the players can begin to think about these games, we have Premier League matches to come that are of huge significance to our season. They will be our sole focus.”

Monaco’s reward for beating Manchester City is a tie against Borussia Dortmund while Juventus will take on Barcelona in a rematch of the 2015 final. Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of Real when they beat Bayern 4-0 away in the second leg of the 2013-14 semi-finals, will return to the Santiago Bernabéu for the first time since his departure.

Champions League quarter-finals

Atlético Madrid v Leicester City; Borussia Dortmund v Monaco; Bayern Munich v Real Madrid; Juventus v Barcelona.

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