The Champions League knockout stage (Round of 16) draw is set to be held tomorrow. The draw will start at around twelve hundred hours (CET) in Nyon, Switzerland. Sixteen teams from eight groups have qualified for the knockout stages. The winners and runners up will be in separate pots from each of the eight groups.
The draw will put each winner of a group against a runner up with the condition that both the teams are not from the same association and from the same group from last round. The runners up will play the first leg of the round of 16 tie at home on 15/16 and 22/23 February and the winners will play the second leg at home on 8/9 and 15/16 March.
For us the possibilities are Barcelona, Real Madrid, last year’s runner up, Bayern Munich and Schalke. Barcelona and Real Madrid are currently in top form and will provide the biggest challenge for us if we are drawn against them. With Bayern Munich currently not doing well in the Bundesliga and Schakle also struggling, both of them may provide lighter oppositions.
But as far as Wenger is concerned, he isn’t thinking much into it as a lot can change in football in two months. When asked about the draw, Wenger said that he is going to take the result of the draw as they are as he doesn’t want to put undue pressure on his team by making preferences.
There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. The German teams are going to enjoy the winter break and return fresher in spring. And as Robben is going to get better for Bayern, they can be a changed team. The Spanish gianst on the other hand are dominating but things can change quickly. It will be all down to the draw for who we face as we will find out tomorrow.
“There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides. The Germans have a good break in the winter and are fresh in spring.
“The Spanish teams are a bit more favourites at the moment but that can change in two months.
“The difficulty might be more or less but it is part of the draw. We will have to consider what we get and we will see that tomorrow.
“We take the draw as it is and I do not want to put my team in a position where they feel they have had bad luck or would have preferred somebody else.”