UEFA Champions League: The Last 16 Contenders
2009-12-10 - Added by
ExtraFootie looks ahead to next Friday's draw for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League which could throw up some rather special and spicy encounters!
After 96 matches, 238 goals, spanning a four month cycle, the 2009/2010 UEFA Champions League moves into the dreaded, yet, equally exciting knockout stages with 16 teams nervously awaiting the draw on Friday, December 18th.
We at ExtraFootie could not wait that long so we have formulated our very own in depth look and analysis as to what possibilities await Europe's elite clubs come next Friday.
As is the norm, the Group winners shall be pitted against the Group runners-up, although sides from the same groups as well as sides from the same countries cannot be drawn against each other until the quarter-finals and beyond.
Each tie in the knockout stage will be played over two legs with the runners-up playing the first leg at home.
Bordeaux, France, Group A
Manchester United, England, Group B
Real Madrid, Spain, Group C
Chelsea, England, Group D
Fiorentina, Italy, Group E
FC Barcelona, Spain, Group F (Holders)
Sevilla, Spain, Group G
Arsenal, England, Group H
Bayern Munich, Germany, Group A
CSKA Moscow, Russia, Group B
AC Milan, Italy, Group C
FC Porto, Portugal, Group D
Olympique Lyon, France, Group E
Inter Milan, Italy, Group F
VfB Stuttgart, Germany, Group G
Olympiacos, Greece, Group H
The potential for some fabulous ties certainly exists and one which takes our fancy is a possible Chelsea v Inter Milan clash which would see none other than former Blues boss Jose Mourinho return to Stamford Bridge to face-off against his old club.
Likewise, what are the chances that fate will play a cruel hand and pit Chelsea against AC Milan as new Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti makes a rather quick return to the San Siro after spending a glorious eight year stint in the fashion capital?
Another potential sizzler is a re-match of the 1999 final which would occur should Bayern Munich draw Manchester United.
The two have only met once in the knockout stages since that infamous night at the Camp Nou and that was back in the 2000/2001 quarter-finals when a late Paulo Sergio goal sealed a 1-0 win for the Bavarians at Old Trafford, before Ottmar Hitzfeld's men triumphed 2-1 in Munich and went on to lift the trophy in the final at the San Siro.
The draw could also pit Europe's continental giants against each other, for example, Inter Milan v Real Madrid, or Barcelona v AC Milan, on the other hand, the draw could also throw up a few uninspiring clashes such as Fiorentina v CSKA Moscow or, Bordeaux v VfB Stuttgart - which will not thrill too many people.
If we at ExtraFootie had a magic wand this would be our dream draw - fingers crossed!
Inter Milan v Chelsea
Bayern Munich v Manchester United
AC Milan v FC Barcelona
Olympique Lyon v Arsenal
FC Porto v Real Madrid
CSKA Moscow v Sevilla
Olympiacos v Bordeaux
VfB Stuttgart v Fiorentina