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With the road to Wembley mapped out, Goal.com presents the most intriguing personal battles to look out for in the Champions League quarter finals...

Friday's Champions League draw produced some interesting personal battles, and some of the players know each other only too well.

The ceremony in Nyon produced some fascinating ties, with holders Inter, fresh from eliminating Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, returning to Germany to face Schalke.

An all-English affair pits Chelsea against Manchester United, while it will be intriguing to see if Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart can punish Real Madrid for forcing him out in August, and whether Shakhtar Donetsk captain Darijo Srna can exploit the weakened left flank of Barcelona's defence.

Goal.com counts down the four battles that are most key to their respective ties.


4. SAMUEL ETO'O vs MANUEL NEUER




vs

HEAD-TO-HEAD
30 AGE 24
Cameroonian NATIONALITY

German
CF
POSITION GK
  CASTROL RANKING
 
Winner (2006, 2009, 2010)
CL BEST
Quarter-finals (2008)
FORM

WHAT TO EXPECT

Samuel Eto'o is the biggest winner in the tournament. Having scored in two Champions League finals for Barcelona, he became the only player to lift the trophy three times last decade when helping Inter to win it last season. His current campaign, however, is his best ever in Europe, having scored six goals in each of Barca's victorious campaigns, and only two for the Nerazzurri in 2010 when Jose Mourinho utilised him out of position on the right flank. The Cameroonian has eight goals already, making him joint-top scorer in this season's competition.

The only player who can stop him is Manuel Neuer, and Inter know only too well what a German keeper in top form can do to them. Jens Lehmann was the hero for Schalke when they beat the Italians on penalties in the UEFA Cup final in 1997, and there is little doubt Neuer is more talented than his predecessor. It remains to be seen whether new coach Ralf Rangnick will be able to organise the defence, but the German international shot-stopper is certain to face Eto'o many times. He must win all those duels for Schalke to have a chance.

Verdict:
With all due respect to Neuer, on current form there is no stopping Eto'o. He could well score en route to the semi-finals.


3. SERGIO RAMOS vs GARETH BALE




Real Madridvs
HEAD-TO-HEAD
24 AGE 21
Spanish
NATIONALITY
Welsh
RB
POSITION LW

CASTROL RANKING
 
Quarter-finals (2011) CL BEST
None
FORM

WHAT TO EXPECT

Gareth Bale's form in the Champions League made him one of the most talked-about players in the world. The Welsh youngster was brilliant against Inter, scoring a hat-trick at San Siro and providing two glorious assists in a crucial meeting in London, leading some analysts to declare Maicon's career as finished. His part in the last 16 tie versus Milan was minimal due to injury, but now he is fully fit to take on the toughest warrior of them all, Sergio Ramos.

Ramos is fast enough to compete with Bale's lightning speed, and physical enough to make the Welshman a little cautious on his mazy runs. However, the Spaniard is still not the smartest player tactically, and Tottenham can use Bale's ability to find space behind the defender.

Verdict: If Tottenham can surprise Real, their hopes lie with Bale and van der Vaart. Fitness will be crucial for the Welshman, and it remains a bit doubtful he can be back to his autumn form in time for the quarter-finals.


2. LIONEL MESSI vs DMYTRO CHYGRYNSKIY




  vs

HEAD-TO-HEAD
23 AGE 24
Argentinian NATIONALITY
Ukrainian
CF
POSITION CB
  CASTROL RANKING

Winner (2006, 2009)
CL BEST
Semi-finalist (2010)
FORM

WHAT TO EXPECT

Signing Dmytro Chygrynskiy for €25 million is seen as Pep Guardiola worst transfer decision at the Camp Nou, even taking the Zlatan Ibrahimovic disaster into account. Sold at a loss of €10 million back to Ukraine after a single season on the bench in Barcelona, Chygrynskiy is back to his best, guiding a solid Shakhtar defence to their biggest achievement in the Champions League. Now he has to stop his former team-mates, and especially Lionel Messi, who is averaging a goal per game in Europe this season, and enjoys an even better record in all competitions.

While it might be extremely difficult for any defender to stop the best forward in the world, there might be hope for Shakhtar that their star defender can bring some inside knowledge. Dynamo Kyiv thrashed Barcelona 4-0 at Camp Nou in their best Champions League game in 1997, and Chygrynkiy's job will be to prevent the Catalans from getting the reverse result in the first leg.

Verdict: Chygrynskiy will be eager to prove Pep wrong for not giving him enough chances, but it really depends on Messi. On his day, the Argentinian is unstoppable.

1. FERNANDO TORRES vs NEMANJA VIDIC




vs

HEAD-TO-HEAD
27 AGE 29
Spanish
NATIONALITY
Serbian
CF
POSITION CB

CASTROL RANKING
 
Semi-finalist (2008)
CL BEST
Winner (2008)
FORM

WHAT TO EXPECT

Fernando Torres has so far failed to justify the monstrous €50 million fee Roman Abramovich agreed to pay for him, but there is one Manchester United player who hates to see the Spaniard. Incredibly, Nemanja Vidic has been sent off four times in the last three seasons when facing Torres' sides.

It all started on September 13, 2008 when Vidic saw red in a 2-1 defeat at Anfield. Then came the Torres' finest performance against United on March 14, 2009 when he tore the Red Devils apart at Old Trafford, a match in which the Serbian was sent off again. The sequence continued last season, when Vidic opted for an early shower in injury time once more, in a 2-0 defeat. Torres' move to Stamford Bridge changed nothing in that regard - Vidic received his marching orders for a second booking, and Chelsea won the Spaniard's first encounter with United when wearing blue.

The 27-year-old World Cup winner is struggling for form, while Vidic is struggling for fitness, and he won't be delighted to face an old foe when returning from injury.

Verdict: On current form, Torres can only hope the referee keeps his record straight and sends Vidic off.

Which battles are you most looking forward to? Any we have missed out? Post your suggestions in the comments section and we'll add the best of them below.

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