The draw for the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League has been made in Paris.
The draw has produced several mouth-watering ties including an Anglo-Italian encounter between Arsenal and Juventus which will see former Gunners skipper Patrick Vieira facing his old club.
Favourites Barcelona appear to have been given a relatively easy draw against Benfica, while last season’s losing finalists Milan will face a difficult task against French champions Lyon.
Milan’s city rivals Inter will meet Villarreal if they overcome Ajax in next week’s delayed second leg.
The projected draw for the semi-final was also made at the ceremony.
Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein is looking forward to the return of Juventus midfielder Vieira to Highbury.
“It couldn’t be more glamorous than that,” said Dein. “Real Madrid was special and this will be enormously interesting.
“Our boys are looking good, we’ll be up for it. This is another big stepping stone for the club.
“Patrick was at the club for nine years and won lots of trophies. I am sure he will get a very warm reception,” Dein added.
“I know Juventus are running away with their domestic league, but our boys will be up for it, don’t worry. There is a lot of confidence in our team.”
Benfica’s director of football Jose Veiga said of his club’s meeting with favourites Barceolona: “Barcelona really is one of the best teams, probably the best.
“At this stage of the competition there should be no preferences. We are talking about the eight best teams in Europe and all of them are extremely strong.
“But I think that often what is difficult becomes easier, because the levels of concentration are higher.”
Meanwhile, Milan spokesman Umberto Gandini said Lyon would be a tough nut to crack.
“Lyon are a very good side with talented players. I don’t think the absence of Juninho in the first leg will change anything,” said Gardini.
“Juninho is a great player but they have…many others guys with lethal skills,” he said.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said: “If we win, we might face Barcelona. But our objective was always to reach the final.
“You always have to face the best teams once you get to this level of competition.”
Arsenal v Juventus
Lyon v Milan
Inter or Ajax v Villarreal
Benfica v Barcelona
Arsenal or Juventus v Inter/Ajax or Villarreal
Lyon or Milan v Benfica or Barcelona
Quarter-finals: 28/29 March & 4/5 April
Semi-finals: 18/19 & 25/26 April
Final: 17 May
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