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2019/20 Champions League draw: Round of 16 preview

2019/20 Champions League draw: Round of 16 preview

The Champions League draw for the Round of 16 was made on Monday morning with 16 of Europe’s biggest clubs set to go head to head to reach the quarter-finals of the competitions. The first legs of each tie will be played on the 18th/19th/25th/26th February and the return legs will be played on the 10th/11th/17th/18th March. The full Champions League draw is as follows;

 

Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint Germain

Head to head record: Played – 2, Borussia Dortmund – 0, Draw – 2, Paris Saint Germain – 0

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel returns to the club that he managed between 2015 and 2017, winning a solitary German Cup. The French Champions have gone out in the round of 16 in the last three consecutive seasons and will be up against it from a German side who have won their last two knockout games against French opposition.

 

Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

Head to head record: Played – 4, Real Madrid – 2, Draw – 2, Manchester City – 0

No side has more appearances in the round of 16 than Real Madrid who have reached this stage on 17 occasions, winning it on 13 of them. Manchester City, on the other hand, are a relative newcomer to the top table of European football, making their Champions League debut in the 2011/12 season and never surpassing the semi-final stage. One of the most fascinating ties from the Champions League draw, the tie is an opportunity for Pep Guardiola to renew rivalries with Real Madrid after his time at Barcelona. Yet, with Real winning the competition three times in the last four seasons, he’s up against it.

 

Atalanta vs. Valencia

Head to head record: Played – 0

Two sides flourishing in European competition this season despite struggling in their domestic leagues; Atalanta are currently 6th in Serie A whereas Valencia are down in 8th in La Liga. Atalanta got off to a grim start in their maiden Champions League campaign, losing their opening three group games. However, after taking seven points from their final three they sneaked through in second place. Valencia haven’t got further in the Champions League draw than the round of 16 stage since the 2006/07 season when Chelsea dispatched them in the quarter-finals.

 

Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool

Head to head record: Played – 4, Atletico Madrid – 1, Draw – 2, Liverpool – 1

Defending European champions and current Premier League leaders Liverpool take on Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in one of the headline ties of the Champions League draw. In what is sure to be a mouthwatering affair, Jurgen Klopp’s rock and roll football will come up against the Argentinian’s pragmatic, organised style. Atletico have endured a mixed start to the season, currently sitting fifth in La Liga, yet having reached the final twice in the last six seasons will be eager to knock the English side off their perch.

 

Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich

Head to head record: Played – 4, Chelsea – 2, Draw – 0, Bayern Munich – 2

A match up between two European juggernauts, yet both in unfamiliar territory domestically at this point of the season. Chelsea were expected to dip somewhat after the departure of Eden Hazard, with their transfer ban forcing them to rely on youth players. They are currently in fourth place in the Premier League and will hope to strengthen in January. Bayern Munich are struggling in their quest to win an eigth consecutive Bundesliga crown and sit in fifth place. However, having each won the competition this decade their is no questioning the pedigree of either club and they will each be determined to make a statement by punishing the other.

 

Lyon vs. Juventus

Head to head record: Played – 4, Lyon – 0, Draw – 1, Juventus – 3

Lyon will attempt to become the first French side to beat Juventus in 8 attempts. Indeed, it has been an unhappy fixture for Lyon in recent seasons, losing three of their four European fixtures against the Italians. Memphis Depay has been one of the stars of the competition so far with 5 goals and, after suffering a cruciate ligament injury, will be a huge loss. Juventus have reached and lost the final twice in the last five seasons so will be determined to go one better this time after some shrewd summer business.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. RB Leipzig

Head to head record: Played – 2, Tottenham – 2, Draw – 0, RB Leipzig – 0

The London side take on this year’s surprise Champions League package, RB Leipzig, having knocked out last season’s, Ajax, to reach the final. With two time Champions League winner Jose Mourinho at the helm, Spurs will be cautiously hopeful of another successful European campaign, especially with the league now virtually out of reach. They will have been pleased to see RB Leipzig drawn out of the hat in the Champions League draw but shouldn’t underestimate the German side who currently sit atop the Bundesliga table on merit. With one of the finest strikers in world football, Time Werner, up front as well as a couple of familiar Premier League names, Ethan Ampadu and Ademola Lookman, in their ranks, the Germans are a tough proposition.

 

Napoli vs. Barcelona

Head to head record: Played – 0

A fixture that will rival Real Madrid vs. Manchester City for the title of most eye-catching tie of the Champions League draw. Napoli are onto their second manager of the season, with the always controversial Gennaro Gattuso replacing Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian side struggling in eighth in the Serie A table. Barcelona are top of La Liga and, with the talismanic Lionel Messi having just won a record sixth Ballon d’Or title, they remain, a side to be feared. The Catalonians will understandably be regarded as favourites but Gattuso didn’t forge a playing career through being passive or submissive and will put the fear of God into his side before this fixture.

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