Euro challenges

After a Champions League quarter-final draw threw Manchester United the dreaded opposition of heavyweights Bayern Munich, while Chelsea are up against the mega-rich Paris Saint Germain, what tests await the Premier League clubs? Peter Fraser looks at some of the potential battles...

By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF.   Last Updated: 21/03/14 1:17pm

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Rocking Robben

Defending champions Bayern Munich were the draw no team wanted for a reason, they have a side packed full of hugely effective players. They may not be a team of individual superstars who crave the spotlight but that is because they are wonderfully good at what they do as a magical group.

Arjen Robben, though, is a player who is a star. The scorer of the winning goal in last season's Champions League final is ranked in the same bracket as Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo for his performances in the current UEFA Champions League campaign.

The Dutch winger has scored three goals and contributed three assists in six 2013/14 European Cup appearances while he also averages 5.2 shots per game to make the former Chelsea man an immense threat to United.

Kroos Control

Toni Kroos is a Bayern hero, because the midfielder does a lot of the unsung work and is vital to how manager Pep Guardiola asks his team to operate with clinical and precise passing in areas to hurt the opposition.

The German averages 1.9 key passes per game in the Champions League this season and also averages 89.8 passes per game at a success rate of 95.4 per cent - making him the most successful passer among the players who have started seven or more games in 2013/14.

Much has been made of United's shortcomings in midfield and, if Bayern are allowed to take control through Kroos in that area, it could be a horribly long couple of legs for David Moyes' squad in the quarter-finals.

David Moyes v Pep Guardiola

As with many of the individual battles on the field, the head-to-head on the touchline appears to be somewhat of a mismatch between two managers with significantly different Champions League experience and status.

Guardiola has won 16 major trophies in all competitions as a boss since he took charge of former club Barcelona in 2008 and has been hailed as a managerial genius while Moyes can only point to a Community Shield victory with United and an old Division Two title with Preston North End.

Moyes will know he and his club are huge underdogs, and he will play on this fact. But, at the same time, he also has very little to lose in a tie which has seen United drift to an outside 28/1 to win the Champions League with Sky Bet.


Stopping Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 10 goals so far in this season's Champions League, meaning the Swedish star striker has impressively contributed just under half (45%) of PSG's goals in the 2013/14 European Cup.

Ibrahimovic also averages 4.9 shots per game and 1.9 key passes per game in the Champions League this season. Meanwhile, he has been on fire in the French domestic Ligue 1, having scored 25 times and having contributed 11 assists.

It will be an almighty task for Chelsea to prevent Ibrahimovic from scoring, and that is not forgetting the additional threat of Edinson Cavani, but in captain John Terry and Gary Cahill they do have a centre-back pairing in fine form.

Pass Masters

PSG do not receive half as much credit as Barcelona but they are equally as successful at passing as the Spanish club in this season's Champions League, with both teams averaging 90.7% in their passing success in 2013/14.

Laurent Blanc's men also have the third most successful record for keeping possession in the European Cup in the current campaign behind Bayern Munich and Barcelona after averaging 63.8% possession in their matches.

Thiago Motta and Marco Verratti are the men who make PSG tick in midfield, averaging 110.9 and 97.5 passes per game, respectively, to mean they rank first and third as the most frequent passers in the current Champions League campaign. Chelsea must try to disrupt PSG's passing.

Jose Mourinho v Laurent Blanc

It will be an intriguing battle between two different breeds of manager. Mourinho is known for his organisation and pragmatic brand of football while Blanc prefers an attacking, fluid style.

Mourinho, as the more experienced man, will try his mind games on former United defender Blanc, who only started his management career in 2007, and he will be intent on pitching Chelsea as the underdogs against a side who are an even more recent addition to football's nouveau riche brigade.

Mourinho, though, will need to be at his best and cannot underestimate a man who many have touted as a future United manager.

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