This season’s UEFA Champions League has now reached the last 16 draw with all five English clubs featuring.
Below, I reflect on each tie, discussing head to head records, key players and etc.
Juventus vs Tottenham Hotspur
This is the stand out tie because Tottenham surprisingly came through as group winners against the likes of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Their performances against those teams are sure to inspire them against the Old Lady, who have reached two of last three finals in this competition.
There is no past history between these teams as well making this wide open.
They however met in a pre season friendly this season with Spurs winning 2-0. With it being a non competitive fixture, there isn’t anything to take from that meeting.
If Paulo Dybala and Harry Kane are in form come February, this will be a proper battle without any doubt.
Chelsea vs Barcelona
Chelsea struggled against AS Roma and Atletico Madrid in the group stage so will need to raise a gear here.
Barcelona didn’t flatter to deceive in their group, winning their three home games but were held 0-0 in two of their three away games (Olympiacos and Juventus).
Barca has Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez whilst Chelsea have Eden Hazard, Alvaro Morata and Willian to cause problems on attack.
Ultimately, midfield and defence will be key to who progresses because both attacks will be difficult to keep out.
Basel vs Manchester City
Manchester City will be delighted with this draw because they are unbeaten this season in all but one game.
Basel will certainly have to make home advantage count in first leg, given their woeful record on English soil.
In 13 visits to England, they have won just once, drawing five and lost seven. That places more importance on their home games.
Back home at St Jakobs’ Park, it hasn’t been helpful against the English teams with a (W3, D3, L5) record.
Given Basel’s terrible record against clubs in England, I expect Manchester City to comfortably cruise through this tie.
FC Porto vs Liverpool
It has been a decade since these teams met in the group stage of 2007-08 tournament.
Liverpool won at Anfield 4-1 before clinching a 1-1 draw in Porto then.
Its a similar story when these teams met in the quarter finals of 2000-01 UEFA Cup with the Reds winning at home and getting an away draw.
Those meetings have been the only clashes between these teams so be interesting to see if the pattern will be broken this time around.
Definitely one that Liverpool should progress through if Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are on form.
Sevilla vs Manchester United
This is the first ever meeting between these sides so anything could happen.
Sevilla are currently in a battle for qualification into next season’s tournament, so could well still be distracted come February.
Manchester United will probably have to concede the Premier League title fight now, after losing to Man City yesterday.
That will only make them and Jose Mourinho more determined to succeed in the cup competitions.
Sevilla last season got knocked out by fellow Premier League club, Leicester City at this stage so won’t want a repeat here.
Although this will be a tough fight, I can see United ultimately reaching the last eight.
Real Madrid vs PSG
Two of the world’s best go head to head as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid face fellow title contenders, Neymar and PSG.
These teams have only played each other twice before competitively, in 2015-16 group stage.
The first leg at Parc des Princes finished 0-0 before Real won their home game 1-0, courtesy of Nacho.
PSG are this season’s top scorers with 25 goals scored during the group stage.
Real however aren’t far behind in third on 17 goals and split by Liverpool, who have scored 23 goals (six came from their play off tie).
Excluding all the English games, this is the stand out all foreign tie and will be exciting to watch.
Whoever wins this tie will probably go on to become the champions!!
Shakhtar Donetsk vs AS Roma
This could be a close tie given that both teams were unbeaten at home in the group stage.
Shakhtar Donetsk and AS Roma have met four times in this competition with the Ukrainians winning their last three clashes.
I am not going to call this one because Shakhtar has the edge based on past record but Roma are stronger in attack.
In end, whoever wins this tie will be deserving winners and midfield might just well play a role in the outcome.
Bayern Munich vs Besiktas
This is easily going to be a Bayern Munich victory without little doubt needed.
No head to head history can be found but Bayern will be just too strong, particularly with Jupp Heynckes in charge.