Champions League Draw: Favourites Man City to face Real Madrid
Mixed fortunes in the last-16 draw for English clubs as City and Liverpool both set for tough ties with Spanish clubs while Spurs and Chelsea will play German opponents, reports Max Liu...
Favourites Manchester City 5.20 and holders Liverpool [5.8] will both travel to the Spanish capital after they were given tough assignments for the first knockout round of the Champions League. City will play Real Madrid, in standout the tie of the round, while Jurgen Klopp's team will face Atletico Madrid.
The other English sides arguably got kinder draws, with Tottenham 21.00 facing RB Leipzig and Chelsea [50.0] playing Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Big tests for Guardiola and Klopp
For Pep Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice as manager of Barcelona, a tie with Real Madrid is a huge occasion for several reasons.
Firstly, Guardiola is trying to steer to lead City to victory in this competition for the first time in their history. A last-16 tie against the team that have won this competition 13 times, including three times in the last four years, will reveal a lot about City's pedigree.
Then there is the political situation in Spain, which has seen Catalan politicians imprisoned for holding their referendum on independence, and which lead to El Clasico being rescheduled to this Wednesday. The Bernabeu will be a cauldron of hostility when Guardiola, a proud Catalan and Barca legend, takes his City team there for the first leg of the tie.
Liverpool, meanwhile, will need to be at their best against an obdurate Atletico side. Diego Simeone's men are usually difficult to beat and tend to get better the deeper they go in this competition.
The Reds have not been at their best in Europe this season and have reserved their most impressive displays for the Premier League. Liverpool will believe, however, that playing the second leg at Anfield will give them an enormous advantage.
Chelsea and Spurs wary of German opponents
Chelsea's tie with Bayern will trigger fond memories of the Blues' 2012 final victory over the Germans but the more petinent stat is that Bayern have scored more goals than any other team in this year's competition.
Frank Lampard's youngsters have achieved some thrilling results in European competition but a trip to Munich is a step up for them.
RB Leipzig are hoping to end Bayern's domestic dominance this season and currently sit six points ahead of them at the top of the Bundesliga. Jose Mourinho will not then be underestimating them when his Tottenham side face RB.
Spurs have struggled in defence this term and have conceded more Champions League goals (14) than any other team in the last-16. They'll have to watch out for RB's exciting forward Timo Werner.
Elsewhere in the last-16, Barcelona - the team that come next in the betting at 6.60 after City and Liverpool - play Napoli. Paris Saint Germain 8.80, who boast the best defence in the competition and look like they might be ready to banish their reputation as chokers, play Dortmund.
Lyon take on Juventus, while Atalanta, who've reached this stage in their first season in Europe's premier competition, will believe they can get past Valencia.
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