Real Madrid are through and Juventus are through and Manchester City are through. So too are Roma and Sevilla, while Bayern—up 5-0 on aggregate—look as good as advanced already and Barcelona will heavy favourites to win against Chelsea with their second leg set for the Camp Nou later today.
And then there’s Liverpool. Liverpool are through, too. Into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, one of eight sides with a chance to win the competition this season. A side that none of the others left in the competition will want to draw against on Friday according to former Red John Aldridge.
“We can be devastating,” he told the club’s official website. “Look at Maribor—people said they were a poor team, but we’re the only team that beat them away and we beat them 7-0. Moscow, they said it was easy when we beat them 7-0 but no one else beat them by that scoreline. Porto, what a performance that was.
“It wasn’t because those teams are poor, it was because we hit the heights going forward and if we hit the heights then teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, the teams that open up, then on our day, if we defend well, we can beat them. No team will want to play us, that’s a fact.”
It’s a strong field, the final eight, but then it wouldn’t be the quarter-finals of the Champions League if most of the remaining teams weren’t capable of winning it all. Liverpool, though, will comfortably be amongst the sides others will mostly be hoping to avoid in the draw on Friday.
On paper at least, the two easiest draws look to be Sevilla and Roma, meaning that if those two sides don’t draw each other there will be two marquee ties involving four of Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, and Bayern Munich—the kind of ties that make the competition what it is.
And no matter how they match up, every one of those sides will head into the quarter-finals believing they can advance. That if they play well, they can beat whoever it is they’re matched up against. It will be no different for Liverpool—whoever they draw, they will believe they can advance.
“Whoever it’s against, it’ll be massive,” Aldridge added. “Can we get to the semis? Of course we can, whoever we play. Can we get to the final? Of course we can. Can we win it? Of course we can. We’re in the shake up. Certainly we can still dream.”