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Friday, December 15, 2006

Champions League Round of 16 Draw

Today, the round of 16 draw was announced for the European Champions League. The first games will occur on the 21st and 22nd of February, with the return legs on March 6th and 7th, respectively. There are several interesting matchups, and the home team is listed first during the initial leg:

Porto (POR) v Chelsea (ENG)
Celtic (SCO) v AC Milan (ITA)
PSV (NET) v Arsenal (ENG)
Lille (FRA) v Manchester United (ENG)
AS Roma (ITA) v Lyon (FRA)
Barcelona (ESP) v Liverpool (ENG)
Real Madrid (ESP) v Bayern Munich (GER)
Inter (ITA) v Valencia (ESP)

Jose' Mourinho returns to his roots of Porto for an intriguing tie. Celtic Glasgow are very tough at home, and AC Milan has been struggling this season. Lille of France defeated AC Milan at the San Siro to qualify for this round. Arsenal are always a difficult side to figure out in European competition. No doubt the toughest but perhaps most attractive matchup will be AS Roma and Lyon of France. The French are on very good form, and both teams play attack-minded football.

Inter Milan is in a good position to go deep into this tournament for the first time in many years, although Valencia will provide staunch opposition. Real Madrid should get by Bayern Munich, and I don't believe that Liverpool has the manpower to compete with Barcelona.

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