UCL last 16: Real, Chelsea, Arsenal know opponents on Monday

Holders, Real Madrid, and Premier League trio – Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal – are among the teams anxiously awaiting the outcome of Monday’s Champions League last 16 draw in Nyon.
Real and Chelsea are in the seeded pot, along with fellow group round winners, Atletico Madrid, Monaco, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Porto.
Arsenal and Manchester City, as runners-up in their respective groups, are among the eight non-seeded sides along with Juventus, Basel, Bayer Leverkusen, Paris Saint-Germain, Schalke 04 and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Chelsea, the 2012 winners, sailed into the knockout stages unbeaten in Group G, with a tournament record of 17 goals.
Their potential last 16 rivals include the equally wealthy Qatari-backed French champions, Paris Saint-Germain, featuring the mighty Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The two sides met at the quarter-final stage last year, with Chelsea going through on away goals.Chelsea
When quizzed about the draw last week, the London club’s manager, Jose Mourinho, gave a typically unfazed response.
“I like swimming with sharks – in a cage! I did it in French Polynesia. I didn’t want to do it, but my wife and kids pushed me,” Mourinho said.
“The draw is the draw. We have five possible opponents.
“I think Paris would be good because it is easy to travel for us and the fans. But we can’t decide.
“Everyone is hard. You think Basel is easy? We lost twice to them last year and they beat Liverpool this season and Manchester United a few years ago.
“Leverkusen is a German team, Shakhtar? I don’t think there is an easy team at this moment.”
Unlike Chelsea, English champions, City, only secured their last 16 ticket as Bayern’s Group E bridesmaids when beating Roma at the Stadio Olimpico last week.
Four-time winners, Barcelona, who brushed City aside 4-1 on aggregate in last season’s last 16, pipped PSG to top spot in Group F.
Basel ruined Liverpool’s Champions League ambitions when finishing ahead of the Anfield side as runners-up in Group B behind 10-time kings of Europe, Real.
The last 16 first leg games are scheduled for February 17/18 and 24/25, with the second legs on March 10/11 and 17/18.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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