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Champions League last 16 draw: Arsenal battle holders Barca

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 14, 2015

Premier League pair Arsenal and Chelsea will face familiar opposition in the knockout phase of the Champions League when Europe’s elite club competition resumes in the New Year.

The Gunners battle holders Barcelona, 12/5 favourites with Coral to lift the trophy again, while the Blues are paired with PSG in a two-legged elimination tie for the third successive season.

Manchester City, meanwhile, have a realistic chance of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time as they tackle Dynamo Kiev.

Away from Premier League interest, the tie of the round pairs Italian champions Juventus with Bundesliga counterparts Bayern Munich (13/5 second-favourites).

Roma and 10-time European Cup winners Real Madrid (shortened slightly from 11/2 to 5/1) face one another, while 2014 finalists Atletico Madrid play Dutch Eredivisie outfit PSV Eindhoven.

Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit St Petersburg battle Benfica and surprise Belgian package Gent will face Wolfsburg.

Analysis of Premier League trio’s prospects

Arsenal have to contend with Barca’s prolific front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. These South American superstar attackers have swept all teams aside in Europe since Suarez signed for the Nou Camp club in the summer of 2014.

Barcelona have lost just once in seven meetings with the Gunners, meaning this will be a tall order for Arsene Wenger’s men.

Chelsea (16/1 from 14/1), meanwhile, will want to avenge their exit at this stage of the Champions League last season when PSG sneaked past them on away goals.

Parc des Princes star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is another year older, but Blues boss Jose Mourinho will not relish the prospect of battling Laurent Blanc’s boys again.

Of the three Premier League managers, Manuel Pellegrini must surely be the most pleased with Man City’s draw. Dynamo Kiev were rather fortunate to pip Porto to second place in Chelsea’s group and, although travelling to war-torn Ukraine will be hostile, there is more in Etihad ranks than Kiev can muster. City are a terrific 12/1 to win the Champions League.

Champions League 2015/16 last 16 draw in full

Gent v Wolfsburg
Roma v Real Madrid
PSG v Chelsea
Arsenal v Barcelona
Juventus v Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven v Atletico Madrid
Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg
Dynamo Kiev v Manchester City

Ties to be played on February 16th/17th or 23rd/24th and March 8th/9th or 15th/16th.

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