Holders Real Madrid were drawn with French giants Paris St-Germain in the pick of the Champions League Draw for the round of 16 ties, which was drawn on Monday December 11 in Nyon. The Spanish side, who finished second in Group H play against the Group B winners first at the Santiago Bernabeu on St Valentine’s Day before the return leg in the French capital on March 6.
There were no less than five Premier League teams in the Champions League Draw, with English champions Chelsea receiving probably the toughest opponents in Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspur travel to Turin to play Juventus in the first leg of their tie, while Manchester United and Liverpool face trips to Sevilla and Porto respectively. Manchester City probably got the easiest tie of the round against Swiss Super League champions Basel.
Champions League Draw: Real Madrid v PSG
Amazingly, this will only be the fourth time that the two teams have faced each other, and only the third competitive match. Real Madrid were the winners the two teams last faced each other in the Bernabeu in the Champions League Group Stage game in November 2015, while the reverse fixture finished a goalless draw at the Parc des Princes.
However, fortunes have changed somewhat with the massive influx of Qatari cash into PSG. This summer saw Neymar move to the French capital for a world record €222million from Barcelona before Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe joined him initially on loan with an option to complete the deal next summer for €180million.
PSG will be hoping that with this Champions League Draw that they can avoid a repeat of last year’s round of 16 matches, when after beating Barcelona 4-0 in Paris they lost 6-1 in Spain to crash out of the competition. This year they play in Spain first and they must surely be hoping that they can hold the Spanish side to a tight result before bringing them back to Paris.
Champions League Draw: Chelsea v Barcelona
English Champions Chelsea face a tough tie in their Champions League Draw with Barcelona. Antonio Conte’s side came second in their group thanks to defeat to Roma, and that, coupled with every other English team winning their own group ensured that they were most likely to pull Barcelona out of the hat.
Barcelona came through their own group unbeaten and will be hoping that they can progress to the next round in similar fashion. Their domestic record has also been good this season. They find themselves unbeaten leading La Liga at the time of the Champions League Draw by 5 points and while their performances haven’t quite been the vintage of seasons past they are still regularly disposing of teams.
Much relies on Lionel Messi, who has struggled against Chelsea in previous matches. The Argentine forward has failed to hit the net in 29 shots in eight visits against the Stamford Bridge outfit – the worst record he has against any single other club. The two teams have met each other fifteen times, with five victories for either side and five draws. Chelsea haven’t actually lost to Barcelona since the round of 16 in 2006, when they went down 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Since then they have drawn five and won twice in their seven meetings.
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