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2023 Champions League quarter final draw: Seeding, country protection: is it an open draw?

Now that we have reached the quarter final stage, there are changes regarding which teams can be paired from now until the final.

This handout picture taken and released by UEFA on October 1, 2020, shows a draw guest picking a ball during the UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the RTS studios in Geneva. (Photo by Harold Cunningham / UEFA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / UEFA / HAROLD CUNNINGHAM" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The Champions League reaches the quarter final stage and with it, changes to the country protection policy which prevents clubs from the same league facing each other during the early rounds of the tournament.

UEFA scrapped the old away goals rule last year, the most significant modification to the competition but the knockout stage draw regulations remain exactly the same as before.

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The same procedure applies for the draw after the Round of 16 stage has been concluded. The restrictions which impeded certain clubs from facing each other during the earlier rounds of the competition are lifted for the final two knockout phases - the quarter finals and semi-finals.

Friday’s 2022/23 Champions League quarter final draw will be a pure draw, meaning that any of the remaining clubs can face each other - regardless of their seeding, whether they are from the same member association or if they have met previously during the group stage.

Teams from the same country can now play against each other

This year, Italy has the most representatives in the last eight with three clubs in Friday’s draw (AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli). Two from the Premier League (Manchester City, and Chelsea) just one representative from the other major leagues: Real Madrid (Spain), Benfica (Portugal) and Bayern Munich (Germany).

From the group stage up until the Round of 16, teams from the same country could not face each other - but they can now, from the quarter finals onwards. This year, it means we could be treated to a Derby della Madonnina - a Milan derby or an all-Italian, north versus south quarter final (if either of the Milan teams are drawn against Napoli); there is also a possibility that the two remaining Premier League clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea could meet in the next round.

The draw for both the quarter finals and semi-finals of the 2022/23 Champions League takes place at 12:00 hours local time CET (7 a.m. ET / 4 a.m. PT) on Friday 17 March at UEFA’s headquarters, the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.

A draw will also be made to determine which team will be classified as the home team in the final - i.e. the team which will be able to wear their usual home strip rather than their second ‘away’ strip. The first team to be drawn from the pot in each pairing will play the first leg of the tie at their own stadium, and the return leg away from home against the second team drawn.

2022/23 Champions League quarter finalists

  • AC Milan (Italy)
  • Inter Milan (Italy)
  • Bayern Munich (Germany)
  • Real Madrid (Spain)
  • Manchester City (England)
  • Benfica (Portugal)
  • Chelsea (England)
  • Napoli (Italy)

The 2022/23 Champions League dates

Quarter finals:

First leg: 11 and 12 April

Second leg: 18 and 19 April


First leg: 9 and 10 May

Second leg: 16 and 17 May


Saturday 10 June 2023. Atatürk Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey.

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