Monday 18 December 2017

Guide to Champions League last 16 ties

The draw for the knockout stages of the Champions League took place today.

Here we look at the resulting eight ties.


Real Madrid

Coach: Jose Mourinho

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002.

Chances: Over a decade on from Real's last Champions League triumph, it would appear boss Mourinho is determined to clinch the crown for the club this season and they are widely regarded as joint favourites alongside Barcelona.

Did you know? Real appeared in eight of the first 11 European Cup finals.

Manchester United

Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson

Star man: Robin van Persie

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1968, 1999, 2008

Chances: Have marched pretty efficiently into the knockout rounds and look to be among the strongest contenders.

Did you know? United's victory in the final in 1968 made them the first English club to win the European Cup.



Coach: Ernesto Valverde

Star man: Roberto Soldado

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Runner-up 2000, 2001

Chances: Do not appear equipped for a really extended run in the competition this season.

Did you know? Valencia recorded their biggest Champions League win last season by beating Genk 7-0.

Paris St Germain

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Star man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Semi-final 1995

Chances: Mega-rich PSG have ambitions to win the Champions League this term and if striker Ibrahimovic can continue his superb form, it might just happen.

Did you know? Paris St Germain were only formed in 1970, as a merger between Paris FC and Stade St Germain.



Coach: Fatih Terim

Star man: Burak Yilmaz

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Semi-finals 1989

Chances: Snatched second spot in Group H from CFR Cluj. Few teams will fancy making the trip to the intimidating Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul.

Did you know? Gala became the first Turkish to win a European trophy when they beat Arsenal on penalties to win the 2000 UEFA Cup.


Coach: Jens Keller

Star man: Klaas Jan Huntelaar

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Semi-final 2011

Chances: Unbeaten through their group, with Arsenal certainly knowing they are not a team to be taken lightly.

Did you know? Despite their Champions League success, poor form in the Bundesliga cost their Dutch coach Huub Stevens his job earlier this month. He has been replaced by under-17 coach Keller.



Coach: Vitor Pereira.

Star man: Jackson Martinez.

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winner 1987, 2004

Chances: Have shown they can go all the way before, but it seems unlikely they will trouble the major sides this time.

Did you know? Pereira was previously assistant boss at Porto under Andre Villas-Boas, who led the team to a treble of the Portuguese league and cup and Europa League in 2011 before moving to Chelsea.


Coach: Manuel Pellegrini

Star man: Isco

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Debut

Chances: Impressive so far in their debut Champions League season, although inexperience may count against them in the knockout rounds.

Did you know? Pellegrini took Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2006, but during his brief period as boss at Real Madrid, could only get Los Blancos to the last 16.



Coach: Neil Lennon

Star man: Victor Wanyama

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1967

Chances: Given little hope after being grouped with Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow but reached knockout stage for first time since 2007-08 season. Anything else would be a bonus for the Scottish champions.

Did you know? The club was founded in 1887 with the stated purpose of alleviating poverty in Glasgow's East End parishes.


Coach: Antonio Conte

Star man: Arturo Vidal

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1985, 1996

Chances: Serie A champions snuck into last 16 by winning final group game and will be expected to step it up when European competition resumes in February.

Did you know? Juve's original strip was pink, back in 1897. They adopted their new colours six years later when Turin-based Englishman John Savage acquired a set of black and white vertical striped shirts from a Notts County-supporting friend.



Coach: Arsene Wenger

Star man: Santi Cazorla

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Runner-up 2006

Chances: Have had a stuttering campaign, particularly at home, and will need to show considerable improvement to be genuine contenders.

Did you know? Arsenal have now qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League for 13 seasons in a row - all of which has been achieved under Wenger.

Bayern Munich

Coach: Jupp Heynckes

Star man: Franck Ribery

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001

Chances: Last season's beaten finalists are looking to make amends and have been effective so far.

Did you know? Bayern lost the 2011-12 Champions League final despite it being played at their home ground, being defeated on penalties by Chelsea at the Allianz Arena following a 1-1 draw.


Shakhtar Donetsk

Coach: Mircea Lucescu

Star man: Luiz Adriano

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Quarter-final 2011

Chances: Another side to have really grabbed people's attention in the group stage and interesting outsiders.

Did you know? Lucescu guided Shakhtar to the UEFA Cup title in 2009, the final year before the tournament was rebranded as the Europa League.

Borussia Dortmund

Coach: Jurgen Klopp

Star man: Robert Lewandowski

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1997

Chances: Have very much caught the eye in the group stage and are being tipped as dark horses for the title.

Did you know? Dortmund, under Klopp, have won the Bundesliga for the past two seasons, securing a domestic double in 2011-12 by adding the DFB-Pokal.


AC Milan

Coach: Massimiliano Allegri

Star man: Stephan El Shaarawy

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007

Chances: Struggling this term domestically and in Europe they are not the force of old, although their pedigree in this competition means they should not be entirely written off.

Did you know? The club was founded as a football and cricket outfit by English expatriates in 1899.


Coach: Tito Vilanova

Star man: Lionel Messi

Previous best in CL/European Cup: Winners 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011

Chances: The news that Vilanova requires an operation on his parotid gland and faces six weeks of chemotherapy could disrupt Barca's momentum, but could equally act as motivation for his talented squad.

Did you know? Prior to their 2006 Champions League triumph, Barcelona had not featured in a European Cup final since 1994.

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