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Nigerian Stars Braced For Battle In The Last 8 Of Europe’s Club Competitions

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Draws for Europe’s elite club competitions (UEFA Champions League, Europa League and the Conference League) were held today at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with some Nigerian players involved.

Nigeria have just a player in the Champions League- Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal. The Yellow Submarines and Samu face former champions Bayern Munich in a very tricky affair. Pundits have already written the Spanish club off because of the imperious form of the Bavarian club.

They host Bayern Munich in the first leg on April 6, before travelling to the Allianz Arena six days later for the second leg.

Chelsea tackle Real Madrid in a repeat of last year’s semi-final fixture, Manchester City are up in arms against Atletico Madrid, while Liverpool and Benfica will face off in the last game of the quarterfinals .

Three Nigerian international players (Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey, and Joe Aribo) will be in involved in the Europa League and they are from one club- Glasgow Rangers of Rangers.

The Scottish giants confront Portuguese club Sporting Braga in the last 8 of the competition.

Rangers saw off Red Star Belgrade in the last round, while Braga beat Monaco.

Gers travel to Portugal on April 7th for the first leg and they will welcome Braga to Ibrox a week later.

Still in the Europa League, Ajibola Alese and West Ham United have drawn French Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon.
The Hammers will host Lyon at the London Stadium in the first leg on April 7 before traveling to the Grand Stade de Lyon on April 14.
Feyenoord Rotterdam have been paired with Slavia Praha in the UECL last eight, with the Dutch side playing the first leg at home on April 7 before traveling to Prague for the second leg on April 14.

Other other Europa League quarter-final fixtures are West Ham Vs Lyon, Eintracht Frankfurt Vs Barcelona, and Rb Leipzig Vs Atalanta.

Nigeria is also represented in the Europa Conference League.

Cyriel Dessers will lead the Feyenoord attack against Peter Olayinka and Yira Sor’s Slavia Prague. Cyriel has been prolific in the Conference League, scoring six and assisting one in eight appearances. He looks to continue with his brilliance to help his side progress at the expense of his compatriots in Prague.

Leicester City with Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ademola Lookman and goalkeeper Chituru Odunze are locked in battle with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven while England U21 star of Nigerian descent Nonso Madueke is expected to be on parade for PSV.

The Foxes welcome the Dutch giants on April 7th for the first leg before travelling away for the second leg a week later.

Elsewhere, Victor Boniface and his Bodo/Glimt side would take on Roma in a repeat of their group stage tie earlier in the competition. The Norwegian side have been the jokers of the competition, pulling up surprises on the way to this point.

Jose Mourinho’s men failed to beat Bodo Glimt in two tries. In fact, they thrashed Roma 6-1 in the first leg of their group stage fixture before travelling to Rome to force a 2-2 draw.

Marseille play PAOK In the final quarter-final fixture.

Chuba Akpom is expected to lead PAOK of Greece attack against Olympique Marseilles.
The first leg will take place on April 7 at the Orange Vélodrome and the return match on April 14 at the Toumba Stadium.

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