A host of mouth-watering fixtures was finalised in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw at Nyon on Tuesday as some of Europe’s biggest clubs were pegged against each other in the first set of knockout fixtures. Once the pot-picking party was over, the ties read as:
- Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur
- FC Basel vs Manchester City
- Porto vs Liverpool
- Sevilla vs Manchester United
- Real Madrid vs Paris Saint-Germain
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma
- Chelsea vs Barcelona
- Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
While the contest between Madrid and PSG has the potential to grab the most eyeballs, with the defending champions taking on the free-scoring Parisians whose Mercato spending last summer tipped them as one of the favourites for the Champions League, the draw also offers classic European encounters in Chelsea vs Barcelona and a clash of contrasting footballing ideologies in Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur.
The likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Bayern Munich have been pitted against rather comfortable opponents, but the Round of 16 have also thrown up certain low-key intriguing fixtures like – Porto vs Liverpool and Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma – which are evenly-matched contests.
Here is a look at the Round of 16 matchups.
Juventus v Tottenham
Tottenham get turned on by these huge games. They have excelled at Wembley against Liverpool and Real Madrid — teams who have gone at them. It will be a fascinating tactical contest between Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri. The second leg at Wembley will be a great game.
Basle v Manchester City
Manchester City are the dream team at the moment.
Just look at the football they are playing. They are getting to the level of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. I cannot see Basle springing any surprises here — City are red hot.
Winners: Manchester City
Porto v Liverpool
Porto conceded 10 goals in the group stage and that will play into Liverpool’s hands. With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in such form, you would expect Liverpool to score goals against this team.
Chelsea v Barcelona
Chelsea have paid the price for finishing second. This is still a game they can win, especially with Eden Hazard in great form. He will want to prove he can do it at the absolute highest level. Barcelona are not the same prospect they were a few years ago but will be favourites.
Sevilla v Manchester United
Two years ago this would have been a nightmare draw with Sevilla dominant in the Europa League. While it will not be easy, this is an excellent chance for Jose Mourinho to continue his brilliant record in Europe.
Winners: Manchester United
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain
What a great tie! A lot of people will fancy Real Madrid but I’m backing PSG to win this. They are cruising in the league, Neymar will be determined to shine and Kylian Mbappe will be wanting to show Real Madrid what they could have won last summer.
If Real play like they did at Wembley against Tottenham, they could be in danger. And with one of the favourites set to go out, the English clubs could not have asked for a better draw.
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma
Shakhtar did well to beat a weakened Manchester City but, with Edin Dzeko in form up front and Belgium’s Radja Nainggolan in midfield, Roma will have too much experience and know-how.
Bayern Munich v Besiktas
Bayern Munich are in great form and have a manager in Jupp Heynckes who the players love to play for.
He delivered Bayern’s last Champions League title in 2013 and his side an outside chance of winning it this year.
In Robert Lewandowski, they have a player who can take a game away from an opponent at any moment.
Champions League last-16 draw
13 Feb 2018: Juventus FC vs Tottenham Hotspur – Buy Champions League Tickets
13 Feb 2018:FC Basel vs Manchester City – Buy Champions League Tickets
14 Feb 2018: Real Madrid vs Paris Saint Germain – Buy Champions League Tickets
14 Feb 2018: FC Porto vs Liverpool – Buy Champions League Tickets
20 Feb 2018: Chelsea vs FC Barcelona – Buy Champions League Tickets
20 Feb 2018: Bayern Munich vs Besiktas JK – Buy Champions League Tickets
21 Feb 2018: Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma – Buy Champions League Tickets
21 Feb 2018: Sevilla FC vs Manchester United – Buy Champions League Tickets
06 Mar 2018: Liverpool vs FC Porto – Buy Champions League Tickets
06 Mar 2018: Paris Saint Germain ( PSG ) vs Real Madrid – Buy Champions League Tickets
07 Mar 2018: Manchester City vs FC Basel – Buy Champions League Tickets
07 Mar 2018: Tottenham Hotspur vs Juventus FC – Buy Champions League Tickets
13 Mar 2018: AS Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk – Buy Champions League Tickets
13 Mar 2018: Manchester United vs Sevilla FC – Buy Champions League Tickets
14 Mar 2018: FC Barcelona vs Chelsea – Buy Champions League Tickets
14 Mar 2018: Besiktas JK vs Bayern Munich – Buy Champions League Tickets