Champions League Redraw: Round of 16 Ties Finally Confirmed

Champions League Redraw
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The draw for the last 16 of Europe’s elite competition endured a mix-up during its initial procedure, which resulted in it being null and voided. A Champions League redraw occurred three hours after its original time at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. UEFA confirmed that the new draw would take place at 3pm CET time, succeeding the Europa League and Europa Conference League draws.

Champions League Redraw Sees Final Last 16 Ties Named

Champions League Fixtures Confirmed

Following the group stage, the top-two teams of each group proceeded to the next round. This included favourites Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.

Holders Chelsea are to face French champions Lille who have endured a difficult Ligue 1 season so far. The Blues, who have shown signs of frailty in recent weeks, host the French team at home before travelling to northern France for the return fixture. Elsewhere, last year’s finalists Manchester City travel to Lisbon to face Sporting CP. Sporting are currently unbeaten in the Primera Liga, sitting in second place.

The Lionel Messi v Cristiano Ronaldo reunion will have to wait until later in the competition if there is to be one. Ronaldo returns to Madrid with Manchester United to face Atletico Madrid while Lionel Messi faces his oldest rivals Real Madrid, but this time under the Parisien colors of PSG. Elsewhere, favorites Bayern Munich face Austrian side FC Salzburg, who qualified ahead of group members Sevilla and Wolfsburg.

Benfica and Ajax Avoid Trouble

Benfica will host Dutch-side Ajax in what both teams will consider a good draw. The Amsterdam-based team will consider themselves slight favorites after impressively topping their group with maximum points. Ajax will look to continue their high-pressing attacking football after scoring 20 goals in six group stage matches. Forward Sebastian Haller has nine goals in five games and will look to take his form into the next round. Benfica will be looking to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time in ten years.

Last year’s Europa League winners Villarreal will host Italian giants Juventus, with the first leg set to be played in Spain. The Spanish side have only made the quarter-finals of this competition once in 2008/09, however, they have shown that they can give Europe’s elite a run for their money after overcoming Manchester United in last year’s Europa League final. Juventus, who are currently 6th in Serie A, have put their domestic struggles aside and won their group following Zenit’s 94th-minute equaliser v Chelsea.

The final match-up includes two European giants that have won the Champions League nine times between them. Liverpool, who will welcome the return of stars Sadio Mane & Mohammed Salah post-African Cup of Nations, will look to defeat Italian champions Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri enter the Christmas period top of Serie A despite losing key players Romelu Lukaku & Achraf Hakimi, highlighting the impressive job Simone Inzaghi has done.

Full Round of 16 Draw

FC Salzburg v Bayern Munich

Sporting CP v Manchester City

Benfica v Ajax

Chelsea v Lille

Atletico Madrid v Manchester United

Villarreal v Juventus

Inter Milan v Liverpool

Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid

 

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