UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw: Where to Watch Live
By Vishnuprasad S | December 20, 2012 6:38 PM EST
The draw for the start of the knock-out stages of this season's Champions League takes place in Switzerland, at UEFA's headquarters, with Arsenal and Manchester United the only representatives from England. Holders Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City made their exit, earlier than many predicted.
Where to Watch Draw Live
The draw starts from 10.30 am GMT, with Sky Sports News providing live coverage in the UK. Click here to watch the draw live online, via UEFA's official Web site.
For the second successive year, the Premier League has only two representatives in the final 16 of the continent's elite club competition. Last year it was the two Manchester clubs who were surprise losers, with both clubs adding to the disappointment by crashing, almost immediately, out of the UEFA Europa League as well.
This year, City have once again been eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League and compounded their misery by not even qualifying for the Europa League (third place teams from each of the eight Champions League groups qualify for the continent's second-tier competition).
And joining City in a humiliating exit are Chelsea, the title holders. Roman Abramovich's expensively assembled Stamford Bridge squad could manage only third in their group. The Blues may have avoided complete elimination from Europe but the fact they are the first defending champions in Champions League history to exit the competition after the first round will be an awful pill to swallow.
All in all, a second season with only 50 percent representation in the knock-out stages is poor advertisement for a league billed as one of the best in the world.
The pain of City and Chelsea's elimination is offset, however marginally, by the surprise qualification of Scottish giants Celtic, for only the third time in their history. The Hoops successfully negotiated Group G of the first round, seeing off competition from Russian club Spartak Moscow and Portuguese giants Benfica to qualify behind the mighty Barcelona; realistically, we have to admit Celtic won Group G, the Catalans were always going to finish on top.
In any case, among the final 16 (drawn from nine different nations), only five were in this round last season: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Arsenal.
And one of the biggest highlights of the group stages was the qualification of Spanish side Malaga, who made their Champions League debut this season. The La Rosaleda club, who sold key playmaker Santi Cazorla to Arsenal in the summer, topped Group C, ahead of former European champions Milan.
To determine the last eight fixtures there are two seeding pots as usual: one consisting of group winners and the other with the runners-up.
Group Winners: Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke 04, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester United
Group Runners-Up: Porto, Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic and Galatasaray
First leg matches will be played on 12/13 and 19/20 February and the return games on 5/6 and 12/13 March. UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti will conduct the draw, assisted by ambassador for the final, former Liverpool and Real Madrid star Steve McManaman.
The draw for the quarter finals will be held on 15 March. The final will be played on 25 May at the Wembley Stadium, for the second time in three years. And the possibility remains the decider could be a rematch of the 2011 final between United and Barcelona, which the Catalans won 3-1.
As runners-up in Group B, Arsenal will be pitted against a group winner in the last 16 and will play the first leg at home. The Gunners cannot be drawn against the winners of their own group - Schalke - or a club from the same association - Manchester United.
Potential Opponents: Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain, Malaga
As winners in Group H, United will face a group runners-up and will play the first leg away. Sir Alex Ferguson's side cannot be drawn against the runners-up of their own group - Galatasaray - or a club from the same association - Arsenal.
Potential Opponents: (Real Madrid, AC Milan, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic)
So let's take a look at the other group winners and whom they can draw:
Paris Saint-Germain: (Arsenal, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray)
Schalke 04: (Real Madrid, AC Milan, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasary)
Malaga: (Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic, Galatasaray)
Borussia Dortmund: (Arsenal, AC Milan, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray)
Juventus: (Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Valencia, Celtic, Galatasaray)
Bayern Munich: (Arsenal, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic, Galatasaray)
Barcelona: (Arsenal, AC Milan, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatasaray)
Teams to Watch Out for
Shakhtar are the dark horses of this edition of the Champions League. The Ukraninans qualified from Group E, which included holders Chelsea and Italian champions Juventus. Heading into the last 16, they are surely one of the teams the big guns want to avoid, especially with an away trip to Ukraine in February waiting.
The Old Lady of Turin is back in Europe's top flight after several years and Antonio Conte's men are now starting to look like the team they once were. They improved their from over the course of Group E and showed their true colours in the 3-0 hammering of Chelsea on Matchday Five. The Italians eventually topped the group by defeating the hitherto unbeatable Shakhtar, away, in the next game. They look strong, organised and fearless at the moment.
The Bundesliga champions not only made it out of the Group of Champions but they won it without losing a game, beating the likes of Madrid and City and also playing some spectacular attacking football in the process. And looking at the way they defeated the Premier League, La Liga and Eredivisie champions, one has to admit they are one of favourites for the title.
Who would not fancy seeing a Dortmund v Barcelona final?
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