The UEFA committee met this week to discuss how to finish this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions, with August set to see the respective champions crowned.
The coronavirus pandemic meant both tournaments were put on hold during the last-16 fixtures and there were concerns that they wouldn’t be completed, due to travelling restrictions.
But after lengthy negotiations, officials have formulated a plan which will see the remaining matches concluded and both Champions League and Europa League winners crowned.
The quarters, semi-finals and final of the Champions League will all be played in Portugal (between the 12th and 23rd), as a final eight straight knockout tournament. The matches will be held at either at Benfica’s Estadio Sport Lisboa stadium or at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon.
It has yet to be decided whether the remaining last-16 games – which include Man City v Real Madrid – will be played at the home team’s stadium or in Portugal, but they will take place on August 7-8.
Other last-16 ties yet to be concluded are Juventus v Lyon, with the French side holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg, Chelsea against Bayern Munich (Bayern 3-0 up from away leg) and Barcelona versus Napoli – with the scores level at 1-1 after the first leg in Naples.
Before those fixtures, UEFA will make the draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals at their headquarters in Nyon, on Friday July 10. Bayern Munich are currently the
11/4* favourites to lift the trophy.
Germany to Host Europa League Final Stages
As for the Europa League, Germany is set to be the headquarters for the closing stages of the tournament, which includes Wolves, Rangers and Manchester United (
11/4 to win the Europa League).
They are also waiting to see if the second leg last-16 games can be played at the home grounds, while the last-16 ties that were postponed before the first leg, will be now be played as a single leg game at a venue to be confirmed.
There were only two ties – both Italian teams against Spanish teams – that didn’t play their first-leg games, Inter Milan v Getafe and Sevilla v Roma.
United are due to have the second leg held at Old Trafford, but already hold a 5-0 lead over LASK, while Wolves are also supposed to be at home against Olympiakos following a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Greece.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are due to head to Germany anyway, with their second leg to come against Bayer Leverkusen – who won 3-1 at Ibrox in the first game and are
11/2 to lift the trophy.
All the remaining matches following the last-16 will definitely be played as a final eight tournament, split between four venues in Germany – Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen.
The Europa League quarter-finals will be on August 10-11, with the semi-finals on August 16-17 and the final, in Cologne, on August 21.
The draws for the competition’s quarter-finals and semi-finals will also take place on July 10.
*All odds correct at time of writing