15.12.2015 » A preview of the UEFA Champions League last-16 draw
A total of 16 teams advanced into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League and they all saw their fate being revealed this Monday morning. Real Madrid will clash with AS Roma on February 17 and March 8, while Barcelona for example, will have to lock horns with Arsene Wenger's Arsenal. Two of the biggest matchups in this round will definitely be Mourinho's Chelsea against the revitalized PSG, but also the battle between the current German and Italian champions, with Bayern Munich and Juventus up for a memorable fight and knowing that only one of them will to go through...
UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 draw:
# Real Madrid vs Roma
Real Madrid may not be in the best of their forms lately, but certainly, neither are the Italian giants from Rome. Both teams are struggling a lot more than we could expect at the beginning of the season and they're both falling behind in their leagues' title hunt. While the Merengues are currently occupying the third place in La Liga and 5 points behind both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the future isn't looking that brigher for AS Roma either. The Romans are 5th in Serie A, 7 points adrift of the leaders Inter Milan.
Despite having one of the best attacks in their league (30 goals scored in 16 fixtures), Roma are on a quite bumpy road right now. The Giallorossi couldn't get a single win in their last 6 encounters combined for the Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, in a streak that includes their utter humiliation at the Camp Nou last November 24, when they lost 6-1 to the current champions, Barcelona. The good news for Rudi García's men is that their games against Real Madrid will only come in 2 to 3 months time.
That being said, it's not going to be all roses for Madrid. The Spanish powerhouse are yet to lose in the Champions League this season, but within doors they already dropped 15 points in the Spanish League. Similarly to Roma, their biggest defeat this season came in a 4-0 loss against Barcelona, but to make it worse it happened in front of the Merengues' own fans. Madrid can't afford to show any complacency...
The first clash in Rome is going to be extremely competitive and as long as Cristiano Ronaldo or any of his teammates manage to score in the Olimpico, the task for the 2nd leg will surely be made a lot easier. The Romans' biggest threats are going to be Manchester City's former striker Edin Dzeko, as well as their set-piece master and playmaker, the Bosnian Pjanic.
# A quick look at the other games of this round
Just like in any other season, we don't have to wait for the final rounds for the Champions League to present us with true football blockbusters. PSG and Chelsea will meet each other in the knockout stages for the third season in a row, but this time and judging by how the season has been unfolding for José Mourinho and his pupils, it appears that the French side may have the upper hand.
That certainly isn't the only big game in this round of 16 draw though. Barcelona and Arsenal are set to clash yet again in the competition, but it's the Spanish side who will naturally come into this 2-leg tie being the favorites. Messi, Neymar and Suárez have been terrorizing pretty much every side Barça has faced this season and Arsenal will need to be at their very best if they want to be considered a real threat to the reigning champions.
The other big game in Europe will be between Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich and Juventus. The Germans are looking as stronger as ever, but they better be ready for a very difficult challenge against a side which reached last year's final after beating Real Madrid in the semis.
As for the remaining games, we'll have Benfica facing Zenit, Gent against Wolfsburg, PSV colliding with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City vs Dynamo Kiev. Clearly ties that probably won't get the same spotlight as the other 4 in this round, but nevertheless with several teams who can also aspire to go all the way to the final in Milan, next May 28.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game will be for Real Madrid on the 20th of December of 2015, against Rayo Vallecano. You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona vs Guangzhou Evergrande, Manchester United vs Norwich City, Chelsea vs Sunderland, and Everton vs Leicester City, all matches provided from our soccer live football game pages.
Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano kick-off time (20-12-2015):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 22:00
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+6: 21:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+4.30: 19:30
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 16:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 15:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-4: 11:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 10:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 07:00