The New Year can mean only 1 thing; the start of the elimination round of the UEFA Champions League. The 16 remaining teams all have hopes of European glory but only a few have realistic hopes of achieving those dreams.
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The Group winners start the Round of 16 on the road for the 1st leg matches on February 18 and 19 and 25 and 26. They will host the return legs on March 11 and 12 and 18 and 19. The Champions League quarterfinal draw will be held on March 21.
Current holders Bayern Munich possible got the worst draw of any Group winner. They face the Premier League leaders in Arsenal. Barcelona did not do much better with a tie against Manchester City. The EPL side could be without Sergio Aguero for the opener making the task a little easier.
Chelsea got the dream match-up for manager Jose Mourinho. The Blues will face Didier Drogba’s Galatasaray setting up the Ivory Coast’s forwards homecoming to Stamford Bridge in the 2nd leg. Manchester United has struggled in the domestic league but are still believing they can win it all in Europe and start off with Olympiakos. Atletico Madrid face an AC Milan that only barely qualified for this round. Paris Saint-Germain have dates with Bayer Leverkusen. Real Madrid will play another Bundesliga side in Schalke 04. And last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund will play Zenit St Petersburg.
Who do you think has the best chance of winning the Champions League? Any predictions on who will be in the final?