Champions League and Europa League draws: A guide to English teams' ties in the knockout rounds

 
Frank Dalleres
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Bayern lie in wait for Liverpool in the Champions League last 16 (Source: Getty)

Monday’s draws for football’s European club competitions conjured some mouth-watering ties involving British sides, including a Premier League versus Bundesliga triple bill.


In the Champions League last 16, Liverpool take on Bayern Munich, Manchester City meet Schalke, Tottenham face Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United play Paris Saint-Germain.

Meanwhile the Europa League draw for the last 32 paired Chelsea with Malmo and dealt Arsenal a tie with BATE Borisov.

Here, we examine the storylines and history behind each fixture.

Liverpool v Bayern Munich

When: 19 February (H), 13 March (A)


Storyline: Two five-time European champions on different trajectories collide in this meeting between Jurgen Klopp’s new project and his old nemesis.

Klopp defied the odds and Bayern’s financial muscle to beat them to the Bundesliga on two occasions with Borussia Dortmund but lost to them in the 2013 final of this competition.

That, and the Reds’ own defeat in the final last season, leaves plenty of unfinished business for the German.

History: Aside from the 2001-02 European Super Cup, which Liverpool won 3-2 with goals from John Arne Riise, Emile Heskey and Michael Owen, the teams haven’t met in the Champions League era.

The pick of their six prior clashes came in the 1980-81 European Cup semi-finals, when Liverpool advanced on away goals and went on to lift the trophy.

Verdict: Improving Liverpool to overcome a Bayern team on the wane.

Schalke v Man City

When: 20 February (A), 12 March (H)

Storyline: On paper this looks a mismatch between a formidable and free-scoring City side and a Schalke outfit currently lying 13th in the German top flight.

That aside, the tie is noteworthy for pitting Leroy Sane against the team which did most to develop his talents and from whom he joined City in 2016.

History: A City squad looking to make a bigger splash in this competition may see the draw as a good omen.

They beat Schalke 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 1969-70 Cup Winners’ and went on to lift what remains their only European trophy.

The only other meeting between the sides came in the 2008-09 Uefa Cup, when City won 2-0 with goals from Stephen Ireland and Benjani.

Verdict: City to coast into the quarter-finals.

Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund

When: 13 February (H), 5 March (A)

Storyline: This tie between two of Europe’s foremost proponents of high-energy, counter-attacking football looks as exciting as it does hard to call.

Leaders Dortmund have set the Bundesliga alight this season, thanks in no small part to England’s most exciting young talent in Jadon Sancho, and beat Atletico Madrid to first place in their group.

Spurs escaped a tough pool and continue to punch above their weight domestically.

History: Met for the first time in 2015-16, when the Germans knocked Tottenham out of the Europa League 5-1 on aggregate, but Spurs got a measure of revenge in last year’s Champions League group stage, winning home and away.

Heung-Min Son, formerly of Hamburg, has scored in his last three games for Tottenham against Dortmund.

Verdict: Spurs to edge a nail-biter.

Man Utd v Paris Saint-Germain

When: 12 February (H), 6 March (A)

Storyline: A financial powerhouse of a club who have sold their soul to some of the game’s biggest egos in the pursuit of trophies that offer the credibility they crave but that continue to elude them... versus PSG.

Weak jokes aside, this is one of the tougher draws that United could have landed.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, with 31 goals between them so far in 2018-19, will be licking their lips at thoughts of a defence that has conceded 29 already this term.

History: None, although PSG’s Angel di Maria is facing his former club.

Verdict: PSG firepower too strong for United.

Malmo v Chelsea

When: 14 February (A), 21 February (H)

Storyline: Malmo won the Swedish title in 2017 but could only finish third this year and slipped into the Europa League after losing in the Champions League qualifiers to Vidi, who Chelsea helped to send packing in the group stage.

Roy Hodgson’s former team have lost just two of their last 33 games yet the Blues should present a big step up in class.

History: None.

Verdict: A Chelsea procession.

BATE Borisov v Arsenal

When: 14 February (A), 21 February (H)

Storyline: Having ventured to Azerbaijan and Ukraine in the group stage, the Gunners face another far-flung trip – this time to Belarus to face a team who have just wrapped up their 13th consecutive domestic league title.

History: Arsenal met BATE for the first time in last season’s group stage, winning home and away by a combined score of 10-2.

Curiously, seven of Arsenal’s goals came from players who have since left the club, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Mathieu Debuchy.

Verdict: Arsenal to cruise through.