CL last 16 draw and EL round of 32 draw: Arsenal in Bayern bout, Leicester set for Sevilla, Man Utd meet St-Etienne
Champions League last 16 and Europa League round of 32 draw
Elite English clubs found out their continental fate this morning, as the Champions League last 16 draw was made in Nyon, with all of remaining Premier League sides Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City handed tough opponents for the first knockout stage of Europe’s most prestigious club tournament.
Highlight duels include Bayern Munich v Arsenal, Leicester v Sevilla and Manchester City v Monaco, while defending CL champions Real Madrid take on Napoli and Barcelona (3/1 outright favourites for the CL trophy with Coral) face PSG among other pairings. See below for the full draw.
While, as for the Europa League, Manchester United are set for a French showdown with St-Etienne, which sees world record signing Paul Pogba pitted against brother Florentin, a defender.
Arsenal battle Bayern again
It was a case of deja vu for Arsenal, who found themselves paired yet again with German juggernauts Bayern Munich – though pipping rivals PSG to Pool E top spot on the final matchday of the group stage did spare them from facing Spanish giants Barcelona.
The Gunners (now lengthened to a best price with Coral at 28/1 for CL success) will travel to the Allianz Arena on Valentine’s Day, February 14th 2017 for the first leg and, though Bayern look much less fearsome than when the Londoners last faced them in the 2015/16 group stage, Arsene Wenger’s men will surely remember how they were torn apart 5-1 in Bavaria.
Their hopes may well rest on the return on March 7th, as Arsenal salvaged some pride last season with a 2-0 win, though the Gunners have beaten Bayern just three times from 10 attempts.
Foxes face European specialists Sevilla
The draw was slightly kinder to reigning Premier League champions Leicester, who find their wits pitted against La Liga side Sevilla, with the first leg also away at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where the Bathtubs are notoriously hard to beat.
Sevilla are five-time Europa League winners and find themselves in the CL after successive EL triumphs. The Foxes (40/1 to win the Champions League) may just fancy their chances of a result at the King Power Stadium, however, as the Spanish club are also known to suffer bouts of travel sickness. Though they did overcome and English team in Liverpool to lift the EL trophy last term.
Manchester City meet Monaco
With his side currently out-of-sort domestically, Pep Guardiola should be thanking his lucky stars to be drawn against Ligue 1 club Monaco.
However, upon closer inspection, the Sky Blues will need to be wary, as Monaco dominated Tottenham in their recent group wrangles so won’t be phased by facing Man City.
These two teams have never met in Europe before and on paper City are the superior side, so the Mancunians’ pre-draw price for CL glory of 12/1 has understandably shortened to 9/1.
Champions League last 16 draw in full
Manchester City v Monaco
Real Madrid v Napoli
Benfica v Borussia Dortmund
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
Porto v Juventus
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Paris St-Germain v Barcelona
Leicester v Sevilla
Man Utd to take on St-Etienne, Spurs get Gent
The red half of Manchester (4/1 Europa League favourites) should also be happy with their round of 32 foes, as Jose Mourinho’s Man Utd must only travel as far as France to face St-Etienne, having avoided big-guns like Roma and Villarreal (who must battle each other) or a tricky long distance trip to the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Red Devil Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a great goal record against the Ligue 1 team, currently ranked eighth, with 14 strikes in 13 appearances against them, which is his best career record against any team. Fierce.
While, Tottenham (15/2 second favourites) will take on Belgium boys Gent, as several Spurs stars such as Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld return to their homeland.
Europa League round of 32 draw in full
AOK vs Schalke
Hapoel Beer Sheva vs Besiktas
AZ Alkmaar vs Lyon
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Fiorentina
Krasnodar vs Fenerbahce
Rostov vs Sparta Prague
Gent vs Tottenham
Olympiacos vs Osmanlispor
Celta Vigo vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Ludogorets vs Copenhagen
Villarreal vs Roma
Manchester United vs Saint-Etienne
Astra Giurgiu vs Genk
Anderlecht vs Zenit
Legia Warsaw vs Ajax
Athletic Bilbao vs Apoel