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The draw for the last-16 of the Champions League was made this morning and it has certainly created some intriguing matches for us all to look forward to.
Here is the draw:
Paris St Germain VS Chelsea
Manchester City VS Barcelona
Arsenal VS Monaco
Shakhtar VS Bayern Munich
Schalke VS Real Madrid
Basel VS Porto
Juventus VS Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen VS Atletico Madrid
Looking at those fixtures I think that it is fair to say that both City and Chelsea are going to have to be at their very best if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.
City met Barcelona at the same stage last season and lost 4-1 over the two games, although I wouldn’t be the only person to say that they were a bit unlucky.
I think this tie will depend on City’s injury crisis being resolved. If they have Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva back at full fitness I think they can push this Barcelona side all the way.
The Spanish giants haven’t been the same over the past two years but then again, you must always take a team that contains Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez very seriously.
City have no excuses this time round. They had their ‘learning’ experience of the knock-out stages last season and now it is time for their players to deliver on the big European nights.
As for Chelsea, they will come up against their old player, David Luiz, when they take-on PSG.
Like City and Barcelona, these two sides also met in last years competition, when Chelsea managed to scrap through thanks to the away goals rule.
Chelsea are a much stronger side this season, with the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, and they will be considered as the slight favourites.
I am sure Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have something to say about that though. The Swede is now fully-fit after returning from injury and will be out for revenge against Jose Mourinho’s men.
He is PSG’s main man but Chelsea must not forget about Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, both of which can inflict a lot of damage to defences across Europe.
Arsenal will be the happiest of the English clubs tonight, after they FINALLY received a lucky (on paper) draw for the knock-out stages of the competition.
Arsenal have been knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 for the past four seasons, losing to Barcelona, AC Milan and, for the past two seasons, Bayern Munich.
This is their best chance to make it past this hurdle and into the quarter-finals. Monaco lost their two best players in the summer and, despite their rich owners, have been poor this season.
Monaco currently find themselves sixth in the French League and although they topped their Champions League group, they only managed to score four goals in the process.
The tie will be an emotional one for Arsene Wenger, who managed the French side between 1987 and 1994.
Elsewhere in the last-16 I think that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid will ease past their respected opposition and show everybody why they are the two favourites to win the competition.
Juventus VS Dortmund will be an interesting clash. In recent years you would have backed the Germans but they just haven’t been on form this season and currently sit second-bottom in the Bundesliga.
Despite this fact, I am going to go for a Dortmund win. Italian football just isn’t that great in the modern game lets be honest and Juventus aren’t good enough to progress in my opinion.
Finally I expect Atletico Madrid to scrap past Bayer Leverkusen and Porto to get the better of Basel…… Just.
What are your thoughts on the Last-16 draw? Which of the English teams will make it through? Let me know below!