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UEFA Champions League 2012 Quarter-Final Draw Recap: Real Will Face APOEL

Which team is going to win the trophy this year?
Which team is going to win the trophy this year?

It is all set. Real Madrid will play in Cyprus against APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League Quarterfinals. The Cypriot team has been one of the tournament's Cinderellas as they eliminated Olympique Lyonnais in the penalty shootout.

If Mourinho's team manage to advance to the Semifinals, they will encounter either Bayern München or Olympique du Marseille. The German team will desire to play in their own stadium for the title, so they will be one of the toughest teams to beat during the season.

While APOEL Nicosia is probably the worst team in this draw, Real Madrid will be without Xabi Alonso in the first leg in Cyprus. The second game at the Bernabéu should be what decides the Quarterfinals.

APOEL is a dangerous team. They defend well and they are also supported by a great energetic crowd in their own stadium. Real Madrid is used to those environments, so that should not be a problem for the team.

If the team advance to the Semifinals, they will need to play against Bayern or Marseille. The German team has been playing great in this Champions League, but they are also struggling in the German Bundesliga. Winger Arjen Robben might get a chance to play against his former team and prove how underpaid he was in his tenure at the Santiago Bernabéu. The first game of these Semis would be in the Allianz Arena, so Real Madrid will again have the advantage of playing the second leg at home.

Barcelona will play against AC Milan for the fourth time of the season (they were also in the same group in the previous stage) and Chelsea FC will face SL Benfica of Lisbon. Both Barcelona and Chelsea will play the second game of those ties at home, so they will probably meet each other in the Semis.

As you know, that means FC Barcelona and Real Madrid can meet in the Champions League's Final at Munich if they're able to advance through the Quarters and Semis. That would be an epic Final, but the team still needs to think game-by-game about defeating APOEL first and Bayern later. The Quarterfinals begin on March 27.

Stick with us here on Managing Madrid for coverage of this year's Champion League season. Please be sure to like Managing Madrid on Facebook and discuss the draw with fellow fans on Twitter @managingmadrid. And check out the Managing Madrid podcast available on iTunes.

Hala Madrid!

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