Uefa Champions League last 16 draws on road to Cardiff
There are many familiar fixtures in this season last 16 draw of Uefa Champions League. Barcelona vs PSG, Arsenal vs Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen fixtures have already featured in Champions League recent seasons in knockout rounds, and here we will have again the same fixtures. Well result will be the same like previous encounters or not, can only be decided after the two legs played between mid-month of February and March. But, one thing is sure, the teams who had advanced in previous seasons beating their rivals will have to take extra caution, because the defeated one must be eager to make the score even, and get some pride for themselves.
Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
Arsenal convincingly wins their group, and they must have thought they will be avoiding big teams this season, but teams like Bayern Munich and Real Madrid ends up as runners-up in their group, to put pressure on the Gunners, who are looking to advance into quarter-finals this season. And, the last 16 draw came as no surprises to them, they are once again tied up against their recent nemesis Bayern Munich. They faces Bavarians in 2012/13 season, got defeated & expense of them Bayern become eventual champion. A year later they were in the same situation and once again Bayern roared, and Arsenal were sent back home early. The only rescue for Gunners came last season, when they were in the same group, and won home fixture 2-0, before got defeated 5-1 in away fixture. The only positive for Arsenal this season is they will be playing 2nd leg at home, which means whatever happened at Allianz Arena, they will have a chance to settle score at Emirates.
Barcelona vs PSG
This fixture is also not new for the Uefa Champions League fans, both have previously met in the quarter-finals two times in last four seasons, and they were also in the same group in 2014/15 season. Although, this time Paris based club has got the opportunity to face their end-road little early. PSG heirs are not satisfied with their club domestic success, and they hired Uni Emery as coach to get European success, who won three successive Europa League with Sevilla. But, they are on verge of losing their four time running domestic title as well, forget about European success which may end in the last 16 draw itself this season.
Napoli vs Real Madrid
Group B winner Napoli has most difficult task in hand to eliminate the defending champion Real Madrid. Los blancos are 11 time champion, and they have won twice the Europe elite trophy in last three season, it won’t be easy for the Naples giant to overcome this barrier. Although, they have an advantage of visiting Santiago Bernabeu first, and if they can pull a draw with away goal advantage, pressure will be on Madrid when they will visit Napoli at their home in 2nd leg.
Benfica vs Borussia Dortmund
Group F winner Borussia Dortmund has an easy task to get ahead in the tournament. Although, no matches are easy in champions league, especially in knockout stages. But it won’t be tough for the men in Yellow & Black to get past group B runners-up Benfica, after watching their performances against defending champion Real Madrid in both of the group games.
Monaco vs Manchester City
Manchester City finishes runners-up in their group as expected in a group which boasts of Barcelona, but their last 16 draw is ready to give them an easy ride on papers. Yes, they got to avoid teams like Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, but Monaco won’t be an easy opponent as expected. They are group E winners, and they are most prolific scorer in Europe. Their young team is scoring lots of goals, and they currently sits a point behing Ligue 1 leader OGC Nice.
Atletico Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen
Atletico Madrid group D winners task is also cut-off, tying them against German team Bayer Leverkusen. But, Atletico runners-up in two of the last three season of Uefa Champions League cannot take it lightly as well, because they only overcome Leverkusen challenge at the same stage in 2014/15 season winning on penalties. Both teams are not enjoying a great season in their domestic league at home, and coming February will bring more frustration for Atletico if their situations didn’t improve in Laliga.
Leicester City vs Sevilla
Group G winner and Uefa Champions League new-comer Leicester City got a sigh of relief avoiding the big names as well. They will face group H runners-up and five time Europa League champion Sevilla in their last 16 tie. Although, Sevilla is not an easy opponent, but Foxes can compete in this fixture, and hopefully continue their fairytale this season in champions league as they did in Premier League last season.
Juventus vs Porto
Juventus dream of winning champions league got a great boost after they avoided Bayern Munich & Real Madrid for last 16 draws. FC Porto is a good team, but Old Lady of Turin is likely to advance for the next round, and keep their challenge alive in the tournament.