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Champions League Last 16 set to deliver some knockout nights

Classic encounters could bring in some big crowds for the licensed trade

Well, that could have been a lot worse. Unless you’re a Chelsea supporter, that is.

The English teams have had a decent draw in the Last 16 of the Champions League and there are some standout ties for pubs and bars to look forward to.

Even though Chelsea have one of tougher looking fixtures against Barcelona, it least at guarantees two bumper nights for venues with a Chelsea (or Barcelona) fan base.

And, of course, all the Last 16 matches will be available for BT Sport customers to screen once the knockout rounds begin in February.

Here’s the rundown of who’s facing who.


Juventus v Spurs

Having finished top of their group, Spurs fans could feel a little hard done by to have been drawn against last year’s runners-up. Juventus, just two points off the lead in Serie A, will pose a massive threat to Tottenham’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011. The Old Lady might also fancy the glamour of coming to Wembley to finish the job.

Ties to be played: Feb 13, March 7


Basel v Man City

No disrespect to Basel but… let’s be honest, City couldn’t have had a better draw had Pep been choosing the opponents himself. Not too far to travel and a side that is one of the weaker ones left in the hat. It’s been quite a few days to be a City fan.

Ties to be played: Feb 13, March 7


Porto v Liverpool

2005 hero Xabi Alonso, who picked the balls out of the hat, could have drawn his former employees against two of his other glamorous old clubs: Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. Instead, they will be up against Porto who were runners-up in what was arguably the weakest group. The smile should have returned to Jurgen Klopp’s face by now.

Ties to be played: Feb 14, March 6



Sevilla v Man Utd

After seeing rivals City and Liverpool handed relatively favourable ties, United fans must have imagined that Madrid or Bayern were coming their way. Instead it’s Sevilla, a side which Liverpool twice squandered winning positions against in the group stages. It’s hard to imagine a Mourinho team doing the same thing in Europe.

Ties to be played: Feb 21, March 13


Chelsea v Barcelona

Chelsea could be regretting only finishing second in their group. On the other hand, Barca fans will hardly be thrilled to be up against the champions of England at such an early stage. These two have had some great battles over the years. They last met in 2012 when Chelsea won in the semi-final on the way to being crowned champions of Europe. Stock the bar, these games are going to be lively.

Ties to be played: Feb 20, March 14



Real Madrid v Paris St Germain

Undeniably the tie of the round. The champions against the favourites. Football’s aristocracy v the nouveau riche. Ronaldo v Neymar. It also means that with one of these sent packing, the English teams that get through to the last eight will have one less monster club to worry about.

Ties to be played: Feb 14, March 6


Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma

This is what Chelsea fans could have won had they beaten Roma to top spot in the group. Hardly the glamour tie of the round but one some Chelsea fans may look at enviously.

Ties to be played: Feb 21, March 13


Bayern Munich v Besiktas

Besikstas have been the surprise package so far and Bayern will not have things their own way. Well, it probably won’t be as straight forward as it was for the Germans at this stage last year when they knocked Arsenal out 10-2 on aggregate.

Ties to be played: Feb 20, March 14


And in the Europa League…

Ostersunds v Arsenal

Hands up how many people had heard of Graham Potter before the draw? He’s not a magician or the owner of a working man’s club, he is in fact the only English manager left in the competition. Has he got a trick up his sleeve to knock out a club the size of Arsenal?

Ties to be played: Feb 15, Feb 22


Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg

It’s a tough gig for Brendan Rogers and his Bhoys against the Russians. He’ll be up against Roberto Mancini, who was Man City boss at the same time Rogers was in the hot seat at Liverpool.

Ties to be played: Feb 15, 22