The draw for both competitions is set at sparrow-fart in the Americas on Friday. I will be back to over some thoughts on the draws and I hope you will be as well.
The draw that every group runner-up wanted – Lyon celebrate but ….
Napoli knocked out Manchester City so they have been officially accepted by the English media as a good team.
All sorts of sub-plots and tactical battles set for this one.
The draw that none of the group winners wanted. Milan better than last season – can Arsenal continue to move forward?
Basel beat Manchester United but I cannot see them doing that to Bayern.
Barcelona would have no worries no matter there draw and I can’t see this one being anything else but business as usual.
CSKA v Real Madrid
I did not see anything within group play that would cause me to doubt that Real Madrid is going to be in the draw for the last eight.
Zenit St. Petersburg -Benfica
A nicely balanced tie in prospect.
One of the sort of ties that is difficult to get a handle on. Will it be the same Inter side in two months time or will Ranieri have started to turn the team around?
Porto v Manchester City – interesting fixture although not sure what to make of Porto this season.
Ajax v Manchester Utd – This should not be much of a problem for United
Lokomotiv Moscow v Athletic Bilbao
SV Salzburg v Metalist Kharkiv
Stoke City v Valencia – we will find out if Valencia can play on a cold wet Thursday night at the Britannia.
Rubin Kazan v Olympiakos
AZ Alkmaar v Anderlecht
Lazio v Atlético Madrid
Steaua Bucharest v Twente
Plzen v Schalke
Wisla Krakow v Standard Liège
Braga v Besiktas
Udinese v Paok
Trabzonspor v PSV
Hannover v Brugge
Legia Warsaw v Sporting
Europa League round of 16 draw
SV Salzburg/Metalist v Rubin K/Olympiakos
Legia W/Sporting v Porto/Manchester City – could be Portuguese opponents for City again
Steaua/Twente v Plzen/Schalke
Wisla K/Standard L v Hannover/Brugge
Stoke/Valencia v Trabzonspor/PSV
AZ Alkmaar/Anderlecht v Udinese/Paok – can Udinese maintain a challenge on two fronts?
Lazio/Atletico M v Braga/Besiktas
Ajax/Manchester Utd v Lokomotiv M/Athletic B – hoping for a United vs. Bielsa’s Bilbao match up
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