The biggest match is probably the one between holders Manchester United and Serie A leaders Inter Milan who are coached by Jose Mourinho. Mourinho has knocked United out of the Champions League before when he was at Porto, and he consistently got the better of Sir Alex when he was at Chelsea. Other than Barcelona, I think this is the hardest draw that United could have gotten, as Inter are very capable of beating them.
Another former Chelsea manager facing English opponents is Claudio Ranieri as his Juventus team will take on last season’s runners-up Chelsea. With the second leg in Turin, this is a difficult draw for Chelsea, who will probably wish they had won their group instead of finishing second.
Another former manager returning to England is former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos as his Real Madrid team will take on Liverpool, with the second leg to be played at Anfield. It will be interesting to who Real add to their team in the January transfer window, but a the moment I expect Liverpool to win this one.
Arsenal will also play an Italian team, as they have been drawn against Roma. Roma beat Chelsea 3-1 in the group stages and with the Champions League final in Rome this year, Roma will have some extra motivation to win this one. This is a difficult one to predict as both teams are hot and cold, but I would not be surprised if the experience of Roma conquer the youth of Arsenal.
Lyon were the unlucky ones as they got tournament favorites Barcelona. After hearing the draw Lyon sporting director Bernard Lacombe admitted: “I am very worried. Lyon couldn’t have found a worse adversary. Barca has the best players in Europe in its squad. It’s mission impossible, equivalent to you asking me to jump over the crossbar with both feet tied.”
The first leg will be played February 24/25 with the return leg March 10/11. Team named first at home in first leg
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