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Is This The Best Champions League Round of 16 To Date?


(photo courtesy of

Wow. There are some really great match-ups that have emerged from today’s draw at UEFA headquarters. I’m going to give a quick rundown and early predictions though I reserve the right to change my mind before kick-off of the this round! 🙂

The tie that will likely generate the most press is the Inter Milan – Manchester United clash. It is a return to English soil for former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. Mourinho and Alex Ferguson have always been cordial but there have been tense moments between the two. One was brought on by Mourinho’s celebratory run down the touchline at Old Trafford in March 2004. Jose celebrated Francisco Costinha’s last-minute equaliser as if he had scored it himself. That goal knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League and Porto went on to victory in the final, which elevated Mourinho to the status of being one of the eilte managers in the game.

In another interesting twist, Chelsea will welcome back another one of their former bosses as Claudio Ranieri’s Juventus have been paired with Chelsea. Completing the Anglo-Italian showdown is the clash of two attack-minded sides as Arsenal take on AS Roma.

A thought for poor Lyon who were matched up against the current form team in Europe, Barcelona. It’s going to be a tall mountain to climb for the French champs but it is not impossible.

I will do a more thorough breakdown in the weeks leading up to the next round but for now, here are my early predictions based on current form:

Chelsea v Juventus
Villarreal v Panathinaikos
Sporting Lisbon v Bayern Munich
Atletico Madrid v FC Porto
Lyon v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Liverpool
Arsenal v Roma
Inter Milan v Manchester United

Who do you think will advance? Which match-up are you most anticipating?

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  1. Rurmel

    September 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Take out Panathinaikos and put in Milan 😉

  2. Brian Ply

    January 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

    This is one of the strongest CL final 16 and draws we've seen in a while. The best was the 1999 draw which led to the legendary Bayern-Man. U match.

    While I am excited to see that Landon Donovan may have put his “man-pants” on and step up to the level needed for him to make a true mark for his fussball career; the proof will be in his play.

    No doubt he was and will continue to be impressive in training. The question of his game performance, which were dismal at Bayer Leverkusen will be the decider. Should he get his shot early and show well in Bayern's DFB Pokal draw with Vfb Stuttgart as well as the first BL game, the “landycakes” label may have to be set aside and i'll stop calling him a “bi*&h”!

  3. A Somebody

    December 25, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I agree with your predictions, except that you are eliminating the two finalists… Inter Milan and FC Porto. Remember this. It will be Mourinho vs the team that gave him his only Champions League. I don't know the winner, but Platini is rooting for Inter.

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