Blog

Double take

With the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League finally completed, what are the ties to look out for? Deputy editor Dan Poole takes a look at some of the talking points

WORDS Dan Poole

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

Double take
Blog

Double take

With the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League finally completed, what are the ties to look out for? Deputy editor Dan Poole takes a look at some of the talking points

WORDS Dan Poole

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

As we all know, there was some controversy surrounding today’s Champions League draw. Because honestly, did you see Andrey Arshavin’s ball control? Sure, they aren’t size fives but the man’s an ex pro. How hard can it be to unscrew a tiny starball?

To be fair, despite some minor struggles, the ambassador for final venue Saint Petersburg got the job done in the end. But then he had to do it all again after the original draw was declared null and void, following a “technical problem”. Such drama – and with the round of 16 still two months away.

At the second time of asking, some intriguing ties have emerged. Two-times European Cup winners Benfica will take on four times champions Ajax, with the Portuguese team hoping the determination and dynamism that got them through the group stage will be enough to cope with the attacking talents of the Dutch side, who won all six of their Group C games.  

Meanwhile, our two issue 10 cover stars have ended up with interesting match-ups. Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will be able to test himself against a Bayern defence that was the joint most miserly in the group stage, conceding only three goals. He’ll also have a point to prove: he joined the Bavarian side as a youth player, but only stayed for two years. And Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva? He’ll be returning to the city of his birth to take on Sporting – with the added spice that he grew up with their rival Lisbon side, in the form of the aforementioned Benfica.

Both Madrid sides will have plenty to think about. For combustible Atleti manager Diego Simeone there will be a chance to pit wits against trumpeted tactician Ralf Rangnick, with Manchester United due in town (it will also see David de Gea return to face his former club). Real, on the other hand, will take on the side that the Red Devils were down to play before the redraw: Paris Saint-Germain. So now Lionel Messi, rather than coming up against fellow Champions League goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo, will be buoyed by the prospect of taking down the club that was his most recognised rival for so long.

Elsewhere, Chelsea’s game against LOSC is a resumption of hostilities from the recent past: they were in the same group in 2019/20 (when Chelsea won both games). Juventus and Villarreal will be making history in that they have no history: they’ve never played each other in this or any European competition. Then there’s Inter and Liverpool, who have played each other four times in this competition, most recently 13 years ago; Liverpool have won three, Inter one. That said, the Italian team went through 4-3 on aggregate against the team in red in the 1964/65 version – and went on to win the final.  

The round of 16 will kick off on 15 February and it’s worth remembering the major change in Champions League knockout games this season: no away goals. As such, there will be 30 minutes of extra time if the scores are level after two games, then penalties.

Hold onto your hats.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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