The Champions League round of 16 draw rarely fails to deliver and this season was no exception with some sensational ties thrown up in Nyon, Switzerland, this Monday.
Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain will meet again, Atletico Madrid have been paired with Chelsea, Bayern Munich have been dealt Lazio and Liverpool will meet RB Leipzig.
If those were not enough, there is also Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City, Atalanta vs. Real Madrid and Porto vs. Juventus.
We rank this mouth-watering draw's matchups.
10 - Paris and Barcelona will face for the 9th and 10th time in the Champions League since the quarter-final first leg on April 2013 (2 wins for PSG, 2 draws, 4 wins for Barça), no matches have been played more in the competition since this date. Habit. #UCLdraw pic.twitter.com/LQZBw2sP1W— OptaJean (@OptaJean) December 14, 2020
1. Barcelona vs. PSG
The standout draw in this round of 16 has to be Barca against PSG as it is a tie that has so much history and so many storylines attached to it. It obviously offers the French giants a shot at revenge for the Remontada humiliation back in 2017 but there is also the fact that this will be Neymar returning to Camp Nou for the first time since his acrimonious €222 million move to Parc des Princes. There is also the Brazil international's reunion with former teammate Lionel Messi, who currently finds himself linked with a free transfer move to… PSG. Then there 's the 2020-21 context in that both sides are struggling domestically despite generally good continental form. The Champions League knockout phase is not the Champions League knockout phase without a Neymar injury worry and that was duly delivered on Sunday night as PSG slipped to a fourth Ligue 1 defeat of the season at home to Lyon. There will be so much to play for when these two sides meet.
🏆 - FC Barcelona🇪🇸 and Paris Saint-Germain🇫🇷 will meet for the second time in the @ChampionsLeague round of last 16, after 2016/17.— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) December 14, 2020
Barcelona achieved the biggest comeback in the CL KO phase by winning 6-1 at Camp Nou, after losing 4-0 in Paris in the first leg. #UCLdraw #UCL
2. Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea
Two new-look sides will go up against each other in this one as Diego Simeone and Frank Lampard have both remodeled their squads. The Spaniards are now capable of playing varied styles and not just the relentlessly defensively focused grind it out style Simeone has instituted over the past decade, while Chelsea boast almost unrivalled attacking depth. Also, although he is unlikely to feature as heavily as he might have a few years ago, the presence of Diego Costa in the Atletico ranks promises to bring plenty of emotion to the affair.
7 - The record between Chelsea and Atlético Madrid is even in their seven European encounters, both winning two games apiece (D3), with the Blues unbeaten the last time the two sides faced in the Champions League group stage in 2017-18 (W1 D1). Tight. pic.twitter.com/XrWwi7thf5— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 14, 2020
3. Lazio vs. Bayern
Arguably the most intriguing tie of the draw pits the defending champions Bayern against an unpredictable Lazio side. With plenty of talented players on show, not least free scoring forwards Robert Lewandowski and Ciro Immobile, it promises to be an enthralling spectacle. Added to the mix is the fact that the Germans have started to creak a little of late and the Italians have produced some of their best performances this season in Europe.
4. RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool
A battle between two of Germany's leading coaches with a master-protégé feel to it with Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp taking on Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann after a similar matchup between Nagelsmann and Thomas Tuchel in last campaign's semi-finals and this term's group stage. Leipzig are currently in contention at the Bundesliga summit and their matches are returning healthy amounts of goals at present while Liverpool are struggling to cope with wave after wave of injuries and fitness issues.
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5. Sevilla vs. Dortmund
Like Lazio's clash with Bayern, this is another fascinating meeting between a German giant and a talented European outsider. Sevilla boast greater recent European experience than Lazio and made light work of Group E with Chelsea. Erling Haaland, Gio Reyna and Jadon Sancho going up against the likes of Lucas Ocampos, Ivan Rakitic and Luuk De Jong promises to be fun to watch.
6. Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Manchester City
With Gladbach into the latter stages against the expectations of many, the pressure is now off for the Germans while it is on for Pep Guardiola and his men because of their Champions League ambitions and difficult start to the Premier League season. Could the Foals be this campaign's surprise package like Atalanta were last term?
7. Atalanta vs. Real Madrid
Speaking of the Italians, they are not quite as fun as they were last season, but they are still capable of blowing past their opponents for goals aplenty -- as Liverpool found out in the group stage. With Real looking vulnerable this time around and far from the imperious sides that Zidane has won the Champions League with, Atalanta could still have another trick or two up their sleeve.
8. Porto vs. Juventus
Arguably the least exciting matchup on paper but still a game packed with talent, it will also be a chance for Cristiano Ronaldo to return to his native Portugal with the hope of launching a deep run from there.