Barcelona's Jordi Alba (C) fights for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (R) during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid January 11, 2014.
Barcelona's Jordi Alba (C) fights for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (R) during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid January 11, 2014.Reuters

The Champions League quarter-finals clearly favours Real Madrid, according to first reactions to the draw from the Spanish press, which has some sympathy for their Catalan rivals Barcelona.

Madrid are to face Borussia Dortmund as they did last year. On that occasion Jurgen Klopp's side laid waste to the Spanish team in the semi-finals but will be a different prospect this time around hampered by a mounting list of injuries, bans and departures.

In particular, Mario Gotze's exit to rivals Bayern has affected Dortmund's performances in the Bundesliga more than anything else this season. They currently lie 23 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

Borussia Dortmund's Lewandowski celebrates scoring hat-trick against Real Madrid in Champions League semi-final first leg soccer match in Dortmund.
Dortmund's Lewandowski celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Real last season.Reuters

Real's tormentor in the semi-finals last year, Robert Lewandowski, is suspended for the first leg this time while Ilkay Gundogan, Neven Subotic and Jakub Błaszczykowski are all injured.

La Liga leaders Real will arrive in top form with a more accomplished balance throughout the side thanks to boss Carlo Ancelotti who has at his disposal the most dangerous attacking line-up on the continent, comprising Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Meanwhile, Barca will face La Liga title rivals Atletico Madrid, with whom they have tied in three encounters this season alone (1-1, 0-0 and 0-0). The tie promises to be a finely-balanced duel between the two.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone will be able to count on all of his top players, except Raul Garcia who is suspended for the first leg.

On the plus side for Barca, they have at least managed to avoid Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Chelsea – the three teams most feared by the Catalans.

Nevertheless, Tata Martino's side know they are going to face a more competent Atletico side than at any time in recent memory – still involved in the fight for the League, only just eliminated in the Copa del Rey's semi-finals by Real Madrid and convincing winners over Milan in the last-16 Champions League round.

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta had already warned about Los Rojiblancos' danger recently telling Spanish television Canal + that "Atletico is one of the most powerful [teams] in Europe".

This will be the ninth time in history that two Spanish sides have faced each other in the Champions League – the third for Barcelona.

Meanwhile, former Barca manager Pep Guardiola's Bayern side will face Manchester United while Jose Mourinho's Chelsea will face Zlatan Ibrahimovic's PSG.