Friday’s Champions League draw will see both the quarter-final and semi-final fixtures decided, and there are plenty of big teams left that the Premier League trio will want to avoid.
Holders Bayern Munich remain the team to beat, while Real Madrid may not have a vintage squad but boast plenty of experience and past winners in their ranks.
Paris Saint-Germain lost out to Bayern in last year’s final, but their dismantling of FC Barcelona suggests they could go one better this year – especially if Kylian Mbappe remains in the scintillating form he showed when scoring a hat-trick at Camp Nou… and ditto with Erling Haaland and Borussia Dortmund.
Last but not least, FC Porto put in an heroic performance to stun Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese outfit may seem the team to draw in the last eight, but showed enough quality and heart to prove they deserve to have gone this deep in the competition.
Seedings and country protection are wiped out from this stage onwards, so the three Premier League teams could draw any one of the seven remaining sides – and that raises the prospect of an all-English quarter- or semi-final… or perhaps even a final.
Champions League draw permutations
Chelsea’s potential opponents: Liverpool, Man City, Bayern, PSG, Real Madrid, FC Porto, Dortmund
Liverpool’s possible opponents: Chelsea, Man City, Bayern, PSG, Real Madrid, FC Porto, Dortmund
Man City’s possible opponents: Chelsea, Man City,Liverpool, Bayern, PSG, Real Madrid, FC Porto, Dortmund