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Analysing the Champions League Knockout Draw

Fans of football from around the world have been waiting for the all important draw for the knockout phase of the European Champions League. The draw did not disappoint, perhaps unless your team is stuck against one of the powerhouses. February’s games are promising to be nothing short of epic, with some matches bound to generate mountains of headlines over the next two anxious months of anticipation. Let’s break down some of the key matches that came out of December 16th’s draw.

Man City vs Barcelona

Wow, this is a tough one to swallow for fans of either squad. Sure, Barcelona is one of the most talented teams in the world and should have Messi back by this match, but as we have seen over recent seasons, Barcelona doesn’t always bring the same level of dominance to later round Champions League matches as they do in their Primera Division in Spain. City is absolutely on fire over the past 6 weeks, pouring in goals at an almost unprecedented pace. It’s almost a shame that one of these two fun teams will be gone with so much left of the tournament, but regardless, this is one I have on my calendar and can’t wait to see how it plays out over both legs.

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

Another pairing that showcases the top team in the British Premier League against Germany’s nearly unbeatable FC Bayern Munich is just another of Santa’s early Christmas gifts to the football community. Arsenal has looked vulnerable, especially of late after getting completely thumped by Man City 6-3. If the Gunners are their best, however, they could give Pep Guardiola’s squad a run for their money.

Galatasaray vs Chelsea

Everything Jose Mourinho gets involved in generates a ridiculous amount of headlines and this CL pairing will be no exception. Galatasaray has proven that they are no joke and can hang with the big boys, after eliminating one of Italy’s best in Juventus to the surprise of many. Add in Didier Drogba’s return to the Stamford Bridge and we have a number of enticing subplots developing. Can Chelsea find a way to score against Europe’s best competition? Will they have a new striker on their roster by the time this game rolls around? This game has many questions and no answers to be found. Is it February yet?

AC Milan vs Atlético Madrid

AC Milan may be in the midst of a disappointing season in Italy’s Serie A, but they have the talent upfront to win games. They aren’t good enough to win the CL, but they might have enough to hold back Atlético Madrid who is always overshadowed by their cross town rivals Real Madrid. This is also a chance for Atletico to earn some respect (which they deserve) after their impressive start to La Liga’s season. Advantage Atlético.

Olympiacos vs Man United

Why do teams from Greece always fly so far below the radar? Is it because their names are too hard to remember? Whatever the case may be, this team is one people may be remembering after their date with Manchester United. On name recognition, United has this in the bag, but they have been underperforming all season and sit near the middle of the table in England. This should be a very tight pairing that could go either way. I’ll give a slight advantage to United if they are healthy by mid February.

The rest of the class

A few of the matches look pretty unbalanced on paper – yet it is the Champions League and strange things happen. Real Madrid looks like they should handle FC Schalke 04 pretty easily. Borussia Dortmund looks like the favorite against Russian Club Zenit, however last year’s CL winner’s may quickly find that you can’t fall asleep on anyone, especially a team that scores as much as Zenit can.

Author Bio: Harry Snell is a professional sport betting expert. You can check out his latest sport betting tips and guides at: Sports Betting Guides or his football betting tips blog at: