Leading European clubs are begging UEFA to allow them to return home between matches… with final rounds of the Champions League and Europa League to take place in Portugal and Germany
- From the quarter-finals onwards, one-off encounters will take place in host cities
- Teams could face breaks of up to six days between last eight and semi-final ties
- Clubs are keen to return to their own bases to use their facilities
- Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Wolves will be hoping to advance in Europe
Leading clubs are lobbying UEFA to allow them to return home between matches when they play in the Champions League and Europa League next month.
The coronavirus pandemic means European club football’s two main competitions will use a one-leg knockout format from the quarter-finals onwards. The final rounds of the Europa League will run from August 10-21 across four cities in Germany, and the Champions League from August 12-23 in Lisbon.
With teams given up to six days’ break between the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Sportsmail understands many clubs are keen to travel back and forth, rather than remain in Germany.
Manchester United already have one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa League where the final rounds will take place across four cities in Germany
With a first leg lead over Real Madrid, Manchester City will be looking to seal a quarter-final berth in the Champions League with Lisbon hosting all matches from the final eight onwards
They would prefer to use their own training and medical facilities rather than spend up to two weeks at an unfamiliar base. However, senior figures at UEFA would rather keep the teams in Germany to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection during the tournament.
It is thought the protocols for the ‘Final Eight’ of the Champions League and Europa League will be published next week, after the last-16 ties have been decided.
Manchester City are due to face Real Madrid in their Champions League last-16 second leg at the Etihad on August 7, leading 2-1 from the first game, while Chelsea must overturn a 3-0 deficit if they are to progress against Bayern Munich.
In the Europa League, Manchester United are 5-0 up on Austrian club LASK Linz while Wolves’ tie with Olympiacos is poised at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at Molineux next Thursday.