04 April 2022

A closer look at the European teams standing in way of Premier League quintet

04 April 2022

Five Premier League sides return to European action this week with all aiming for glory across UEFA’s three club competitions.

Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea are in Champions League quarter-final action, with West Ham in the last eight of the Europa League and Leicester the sole English representative in the inaugural season of the Europa Conference League.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the opposition looking to stand in the way of Premier League success on the continent.


Atletico Madrid

Renan Lodi scored the goal which saw Atletico beat Manchester United in the round of 16. (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola will renew old rivalries when Atletico travel to Manchester City on Tuesday night, with the Spanish side having knocked out Manchester United in the previous round.

A 1-0 victory at Old Trafford saw the LaLiga outfit progress into quarter-finals and came in the midst of a six-game winning streak as they also moved back into their regular position as one of the top three sides in Spain.

Joao Felix is in a fine run of form having hit seven goals in his last eight games for Atletico while established stars such as Koke, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez can also cause problems.

This is just the second time in the past five seasons Atletico have made it to the quarter-finals, while they have never faced Manchester City in a competitive fixture.


Liverpool would have been pleased to land a two-legged tie with Benfica at this stage of the competition, the Portuguese side progressing after seeing off Ajax in the round of 16.

Nelson Verissimo is in interim charge after Jorge Jesus departed in December, with Benfica currently third in the Primeira Liga, some 12 points adrift of leaders Porto.

Darwin Nunez is their standout attraction and the Uruguay international is likely to leave this summer, while former Premier League players Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Adel Taarabt could all feature.

This is the first time since 2017 they have made it past the group stage but they did knock then-holders Liverpool out of the Champions League in a 2005/06 last-16 tie.

Real Madrid

Mason Mount’s goal helped Chelsea to victory over Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League semi-final. (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

LaLiga’s runaway leaders and the most successful team in the history of European football’s top club competition await Chelsea in the quarter-finals.

Real have lifted the European Cup 13 times and eased past Paris St Germain to set up a clash with the current holders in a repeat of last season’s semi-final.

Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti will be looking to get one over his old club while ex-Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be involved even if another Stamford Bridge alumni, Eden Hazard, will miss out with an ankle injury.

Karim Benzema is the main man for the Spanish giants these days while Luka Modric still pulls the strings as Real aim for yet another Champions League title – having failed to beat Chelsea in any of their previous five meetings.



Struggling in midtable in Ligue 1, Lyon’s continental form is at odds with their domestic run as West Ham aim to see off the French side to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Peter Bosz was appointed Lyon boss last summer but they are languishing ninth in the league, although victory over Porto in the previous round kept their European hopes alive.

Semi-final appearances in the Champions League (2010, 2020) and Europa League (2017) have been the best returns so far for a team who currently boast names such as Moussa Dembele, Houssem Aouar and Tanguy Ndombele.

The Hammers have never faced Lyon but will be hoping to find them in their league form, which has seen Bosz’s side win just two of their last six games.


PSV Eindhoven

The battle to become the first-ever winners of the Europa Conference League has reached the quarter-final stage and Leicester will come up against Dutch side PSV for a place in the last four.

Having beaten FC Copenhagen 8-4 on aggregate in the previous round, PSV are combining an Eredivisie title battle against Ajax with a push for their third major European honour.

Unbeaten in all competitions since February 5, Roger Schmidt’s side will fancy their chances with the likes of World Cup-winning goalscorer Mario Gotze and Dutch prospect Joey Veerman in their ranks.

PSV started the season in Champions League play-off action before a third-place Europa League group stage finish saw them drop into Conference League, as it did with FA Cup holders Leicester – the Foxes having never pitted themselves against the 24-time champions of Holland.

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