Mourinho sees Premier League pairings as ideal Champions League quarter-final line-up

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The Portuguese coach has experience of all-English showdowns in the Champions League and is hoping to see another in the quarter-finals

Jose Mourinho has claimed he hopes to see some English pairings in the quarter-finals of the Champions League

The draw for the next round takes place on Friday and will outline which clubs will meet in the last eight and who could potentially face off in the semi-finals and final. 

Mourinho knows from firsthand experience how emotional all-Premier League encounters in Europe can be, having overseen several titanic clashes against Liverpool in the Champions League during his first stint as Chelsea manager, including the semi-finals in 2005 and 2007 respectively. 

This season there are four English sides in the hat for the next round of European’s elite competition - Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - and ahead of the draw Mourinho was asked about his preferred quarter-final line-up. 

“I would like English teams to play against each other, without any kind of preference,” the former Chelsea and United coach told Russian programme RT.

“But I would do two matches between English teams, which would mean two teams would be in the semi-finals. 

“I think if the draw gives something like Manchester City versus Manchester United, or Tottenham against Liverpool, for example, I think they would be absolutely fantastic matches.” 

Two English sides met in last season’s Champions League, of course, when Liverpool eliminated Manchester City in the quarter-final stage. However, prior to that the last meeting between Premier League sides in the competition came in 2011, when United eliminated Chelsea at the quarter-final stage. 

As well as the all-English encounters, Mourinho also outlined which other draws he would like to see, including who he would like his native side, and former employers, Porto to get. 

“My second choice would be not by tactical or emotional reasons but by what I think would be fantastic extra motivation,” said the 56-year-old. 

“I would do Ajax versus Porto, as that would mean one of them reach the semi-finals. They are doing so, so well during the competition that I think it would be amazing for one of them. 

“It would be amazing for Portugal as a country, Netherlands as a country, to have a team in the semi-final.” 

The Champions League always pits the biggest players against each other, none more so than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mourinho has said he would love to see the pair meet in a Champions League final for the first time. 

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“I wouldn’t like Juventus against Barcelona because I think it would be something really special. Barcelona against Juventus in a possible final or semi-final. 

“Two great teams that are not being successful in the Champions League for a few years, of course Juventus so much more than Barcelona. 

“And led by two big players, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi, is something I wouldn’t waste on a quarter-final, I would wait a little bit more.” 

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