Champions League | Europa League state of play: British quintet resume European bids

July 30, 2020

March 11 was the last time a Champions League ball was kicked, on the night holders Liverpool were knocked by Atletico Madrid, but after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the continent, European football is set to return.

The continent's two club competitions resume this week with both tournaments to be played using new formats in Portugal and Germany, five months after the coronavirus shut down the European season.

The late finishes will give players little chance to catch their breath as the last games of the 2019/20 season flow quickly into the opening games of 2020/21.

After a 149-day wait, the Champions League returns on Friday as Manchester City look to complete the job against Real Madrid while Juventus host Lyon. Sky Sports provides you with all you need to know ahead of the Champions League restart, as well as the state of play in the Europa League.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

What is the fixture schedule?

Manchester City will face Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium for their Champions League last-16 second-leg tie on Friday, after UEFA announced the matches will be played at home teams' stadiums.

The governing body has also given the green light for Chelsea's second-leg with Bayern Munich to take place at the German champions' Allianz Arena, with Frank Lampard's side trailing following a 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in February.

All games kick-off at 8pm BST time

Remaining Last 16 fixtures

Friday, August 7
Juventus vs Lyon (agg 0-1
Manchester City vs Real Madrid (agg 2-1)

Saturday, August 8
Barcelona vs Napoli (agg 1-1)
Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (agg 3-0)

What happens next?

The 2019/20 Champions League final was due to be staged at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 30.

However, the Covid-19 outbreak caused that to be postponed. The format of the final stages of the competition has been amended with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all now set to be held in Lisbon, Portugal.

The remaining matches are one-legged ties played in Lisbon at Benfica's Estadio da Luz or Sporting Lisbon's Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Quarter-finals

Wednesday, August 12 - quarter-final 1
Atalanta vs Paris Saint-Germain (Estadio da Luz)

Thursday, August 13 - quarter-final 2
RB Leipzig vs Atletico Madrid (Estadio Jose Alvalade)

Friday, August 14 - quarter-final 3
Napoli or Barcelona vs Chelsea or Bayern Munich (Estadio da Luz)

Saturday, August 15 - quarter-final 4
Real Madrid or Manchester City vs Lyon or Juventus (Estadio Jose Alvalade)

Semi-finals

Tuesday, August 18 - semi-final 1
Winners of QF2 vs Winners of QF1 (Estadio da Luz)

Wednesday, August 19 - semi-final 2
Winners of QF4 vs Winners of QF3 (Estadio Jose Alvalade)

Final

Sunday, August 23
Winners of SF1 vs Winners of SF2 (Estadio da Luz)

EUROPA LEAGUE

What is the fixture schedule?

The Europa League's last-16 second legs will take place on August 5 and 6, with Inter Milan vs Getafe and Sevilla vs Roma being reduced to a single knockout game as their first legs were also postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Manchester United will play Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League quarter-finals if they overcome LASK.

United are in a strong position to reach the next stage of the competition as they hold a 5-0 first-leg lead over the Austrian side with the second game still to be played.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will face Sevilla or Roma if they progress in their tie against Olympiakos, which finished 1-1 in the first leg in Greece.

All kick-offs BST time

Remaining Last 16 fixtures

Wednesday, August 5
Copenhagen vs Istanbul Basaksehir (agg 0-1) - 5.55pm
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Wolfsburg (agg 2-1) - 5.55pm
Inter Milan vs Getafe - one-legged tie (Schalke, Germany) 8pm
Man Utd vs LASK (agg 5-0) - 8pm

Thursday, August 6
Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers (agg 3-1) - 5.55pm
Sevilla vs Roma - one-legged tie (Duisburg, Germany) - 5.55pm
Basel vs Eintracht Frankfurt (agg 3-0) - 8pm
Wolves vs Olympiakos (agg 1-1) - 8pm

What happens next?

The 2019/20 Europa League final was due to be staged in Gdansk, Poland, on May 27.

However, the Covid-19 outbreak caused that to be postponed and the final will now take place in Cologne on August 21. The format of the final stages of the competition has been amended with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all now set to be held in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

Should Man Utd and Wolves both progress to the semi-finals, they would play each other on August 16 at Cologne's RheinEnergieStadion for a place in the final.

All games kick-off at 8pm and are one-legged ties played at Cologne's RheinEnergieStadion, Schalke's Veltins Arena, Fortuna Düsseldorf's Merkur Spiel-Arena and MSV Duisburg's Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena.

Quarter-finals

Monday, August 10 - quarter-final 1/2
LASK or Man Utd vs Istanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen (RheinEnergieStadion)
Inter Milan or Getafe vs Rangers or Bayer Leverkusen (Merkur Spiel-Arena)

Tuesday, August 11 - quarter-final 3/4
Wolfsburg or Shakhtar Donetsk vs Eintracht Frankfurt or Basel (Veltins Arena)
Olympiakos or Wolves vs Sevilla or Roma (Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena)

Semi-finals

Sunday, August 16 - semi-final 1
Winners of QF4 vs Winners of QF1 (RheinEnergieStadion)

Monday, August 17 - semi-final 2
Winners of QF2 vs Winners of QF3 (Merkur Spiel-Arena)

Final

Friday, August 21
Winners of SF1 vs Winners of SF2 (RheinEnergieStadion)

What will be different?

When the Champions League and Europa League return, the teams remaining in the competitions will be resuming following a vastly different set of preparations.

For Italian teams, it's the last stretch in a packed schedule that included two games a week since June. The French league stopped in March, leaving Paris Saint-Germain to schedule friendlies before two domestic cup finals.

When PSG faces Atalanta and Juventus plays Lyon in the Champions League, those contrasts will be tested.

Bayer Leverkusen tried to balance rest and training ahead of their Europa League game against Rangers on August 6, five months after the German team won the first leg 3-1.

Leverkusen gave players a 17-day break to clear their heads following their German Cup final loss to Bayern Munich on July 4 before going back to training.

Which teams have the toughest turnaround?

Quite possibly Basel. The Swiss league ended on Monday, later than any other country in Europe. That leaves a three-day turnaround to play Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League, then potentially more knockout matches.

Basel players also face a Swiss Cup semi-final match in August, national team games in early September, a new league season from September 11, and qualifying for the 2020/21 Europa League starting September 17.

Can new signings play?

Champions League and Europa League squads will look different to the teams which played in March. Key players may have left but new signings cannot be added to the roster.

That means no Leroy Sane for Bayern in the Champions League after he signed from Manchester City.

Chelsea new boy Timo Werner was influential in Leipzig beating Tottenham 4-0 on aggregate in the spring but he will be a watchful observer of his new side's second leg against Bayern Munich.

Similarly, potential signings could be delayed due to their participation in the competition. Kai Havertz has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea but Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Voller has confirmed that the midfielder will complete the Europa League campaign with his current club before any potential transfer.

How will the condensed format impact next season?

Teams who aren't in European competitions this month could have an edge in domestic leagues next term.

Tottenham finished sixth in the Premier League to clinch a place in the Europa League second qualifying round, and Jose Mourinho will hope his side can profit from having the month of August off to fully charge for next season.

In Germany, while the likes of Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Leverkusen play, other clubs can rest. Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen only resume training on Monday.

The same could well apply to Manchester City, Chelsea, Wolves and Manchester United, and the Premier League announced last month that the quartet would be given extra time off and start next season late, should they go into the latter stages of their respective European competitions.

Fatigue could follow players and clubs all the way through the 2020/21 campaign, which will be more congested than usual.

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