Friday, December 16, 2005

Champions League Knockout Draw

The draw is over and there is one big rematch from last year. Chelsea will have to see Barcelona off if they want to advance to the quarterfinals. Last year Barcelona won the first match 2-1, but Chelsea came storming back at home with a 4-2 result that put them through.

Here is a list of the full draw:

Chelsea v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Arsenal
Werder Bremen v Juventus
Bayern Munich v AC Milan

PSV Eindhoven v Lyon
Ajax v Inter Milan
Benfica v Liverpool
Rangers v Villarreal

A few other pairings of interest to me are Bayern - AC Milan, Ajax - Inter Milan and Rangers - Villarreal. I think Bayern and AC Milan are very evenly matched, so this series should be very hard fought. Ajax and Inter Milan both seem to be 'below the radar' teams this year. I think the winner will have a good shot of getting to the final four. The Rangers are thrilled to be in the knockout phase, but they are one of the weaker of the final 16. Villarreal is one of the remaining sides I could see them beating. However, much like Ajax and Inter Milan, few seem worried about either of these two.

The first match will be played on Feb 21/22 and the second on March 7/8.


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