Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea Handed Tricky Ties in NextGen Knockout Stages
By Adrian Back | January 30, 2013 11:20 PM EST
Chelsea's reward for making it through to the knockout stages of the NextGen series was an extremely difficult away fixture against Spanish giants Barcelona.
The west London club were the final side to make it through to the last 16 of the tournament after they ended the group stage with a 3-3 draw thanks largely to two excellent goals from former Celtic youngster Islan Feruz.
Chelsea had taken an early lead through Alex Kiwomya but were eventually forced to settle for a draw against the Dutch side that lost in the final of this competition last season.
An away trip to Barcelona will certainly not be easy for Chelsea but they will be encouraged by the performance of Tottenham in the group stages who earned a sensational 4-1 in Catalonia thanks to a hat-trick from striker Shaquille Couthirst.
Tottenham also face a tricky away tie against Paris Saint-Germain who topped their group with 13 points from their six games.
PSG conceded just five goals in the group stage while Tottenham let in double but they will be hoping that the attacking talent of Alex Pritchard and Coulthirst will see them through.
Former Spurs coach Alex Inglethorpe will hope that he can guide Liverpool through to the quarter-finals but it will not be easy as they face a trip to Portugal to play Sporting Lisbon.
Sporting beat Liverpool 3-0 last season and have once again impressed as they finished top of their group with four wins from their six games.
Liverpool will be hoping their excellent youth academy can perform on the day with the likes of Conor Coady, Jordan Ibe and Adam Morgan all impressing they will hope to cause a shock in Portugal.
Arsenal also travel abroad as they face last season's champions Internazionale who were alos group winners with 10 points.
Led by Terry Burton, Arsenal will can call upon some genuine talent in Serge Gnabry and Thomas Eisfeld who have both been handed their Premier League debuts this season.
Like Arsenal, Aston Villa also finished second in their group and they also have an extremely difficult away trip when they travel to Holland to face Ajax.
Commenting on the draw, NextGen Series co-founder Justin Andrews said: "There are eight very exciting fixtures which we are all looking forward to watching.
"I'm sure the players will relish the opportunity to pit themselves against some of the best young players in Europe for a chance in the NextGen quarter-finals."
The Last 16 ties (fixtures dates TBC) are:
PARIS ST GERMAIN vs. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
CSKA MOSCOW vs. PSV EINDHOVEN
SPORTING CP vs.LIVERPOOL FC
FC BARCELONA vs. CHELSEA FC
INTERNAZIONALE vs. ARSENAL FC
OLYMPIACOS vs. RSC ANDERLECHT
JUVENTUS vs. ROSENBORG BK
AFC AJAX vs. ASTON VILLA FC
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