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European reunion

We examine the Champions League last 16 draw, including Didier Drogba's Chelsea return.

Last Updated: 16/12/13 at 17:22

The draw for the last 16 of the 2013/14 Champions League took place on Monday morning and produced several talking points. Chelsea will be reunited with Didier Drogba at Galatasaray and, like Manchester United - who will take on Olympiakos, they can be relatively pleased with their opponents.

But Manchester City and Arsenal both paid the price for not winning their groups after being dealt the task of going up against the European heavyweights of Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively. Here, we examine the English clubs' draws in detail.

Manchester City v Barcelona

How they qualified: City - Group D runners-up; Barca - Group H winners

Managers: City - Manuel Pellegrini; Barca - Gerardo Martino

City record: First time in knockout stages

Barcelona record: Four-time winners (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011)

Key men: City - Sergio Aguero; Barca - Lionel Messi

It is an unenviable task for City to say the least, particularly given manager Manuel Pellegrini, who was unaware of the scenarios in which they could have won Group D, faced Barcelona four times last season with Malaga - losing three of those meetings. City's defensive struggles will be a worry against a team who have scored 44 goals to lead La Liga so far in the current campaign. But City themselves did outscore Barcelona by two goals for a total of 18 in the group stages and this will give the Premier League club confidence against a side who are similarly not as strong at the back as they were in the past.

Both clubs' star men, fellow Argentines Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi, are currently injured but are expected to return in mid-January and so should be fit when the Champions League comes back in February. Yaya Toure will also be a key man and knows Barcelona well after conquering Europe with the Catalan club in 2009.

City's strong home form could be the deciding factor in the tie in the first leg. Pellegrini will aim to overpower Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in order to give his squad something to defend in the return meeting at the daunting Camp Nou. However, the worry will remain about the way in which Bayern Munich dominated City in England in the group stages.

Gerardo Martino has tweaked the tiki-taka style he inherited after taking over at Barcelona and the club may have fallen behind Bayern in terms of the best side in Europe but they still possess an immense array of talent, particularly relative newcomer Neymar - with the Brazilian showcasing his talents with a hat-trick in the thrashing of Celtic on Matchday Six.

Galatasaray v Chelsea

How they qualified: Galatasaray - Group B runners-up; Chelsea - Group E winners

Managers: Galatasaray - Roberto Mancini; Chelsea - Jose Mourinho

Galatasaray record: Semi-finals (1989)

Chelsea record: Winners (2012)

Key men: Galatasaray - Didier Drogba; Chelsea - Eden Hazard

It is impossible to ignore the storyline of Didier Drogba's reunion with Chelsea. The Ivorian won the Champions League for the Stamford Bridge club with his final kick in their colours with the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in 2012. There is also the further angle of Roberto Mancini taking on fellow Premier League winner and former Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho to provide this tie with plenty of talking points.

Chelsea won Group E with relative ease, despite their shock defeats by Basel, conceding just three goals in the process to provide the joint best defensive record in the groups along with Atletico Madrid and Manchester United. There is, though, still a sense that Mourinho's men are still finding their way along - particularly without any striker standing out as Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o have each scored just two goals in this season's Champions League.

But Chelsea should still have too much for Mancini's Galatasaray, who did stun Juventus with a dramatic win in their rearranged Matchday Six game in order to progress. Wesley Sneijder still pulls the strings but he is no longer the player who won the Champions League with Mourinho at Inter in 2010.

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

How they qualified: Arsenal - Group F runners-up; Bayern - Group D winners

Managers: Arsenal - Arsene Wenger; Bayern - Pep Guardiola

Arsenal record: Final (2006)

Bayern Munich record: Five-time winners (1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013)

Key men: Arsenal - Aaron Ramsey; Bayern - Franck Ribery

The pair meet in the last 16 for the second year in a row after Arsenal paid the price for not winning Group F following their defeat by Napoli. Bayern, en route to winning the competition last season, knocked out Arsene Wenger's men after doing most of their damage in the first leg at Emirates Stadium and then surviving a second-leg comeback.

That fightback at the Allianz Arena combined with City's win from two goals down this season will at least give Arsenal some reason for optimism if there is any form of complacency from Bayern but it still looks like the hardest draw of the groups for the English clubs. Arsenal will need to be at their very best and hope their current blip in form has not turned into an implosion by the time the Champions League returns in February.

Pep Guardiola's Bayern remain the best team in Europe in many people's eyes and they possess threats in every department from Ballon d'Or nominee Franck Ribery, midfielder Thomas Muller, defensive star Philipp Lahm and superb goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. They finished above City in the group stages and put on a stunning performance to hammer the Premier League title favourites at the Etihad.

Olympiakos v Manchester United

How they qualified: Olympiakos - Group C runners-up; United - Group A winners

Managers: Olympiakos - Michel; United - David Moyes

Olympiakos record: Quarter-finals (1999)

United record: Three-time winners (1968, 1999, 2008)

Key men: Olympiakos - Javier Saviola; United - Wayne Rooney

In comparison with their domestic neighbours, Manchester City, Manchester United demonstrated the full benefit of finishing as group winners after being drawn against Olympiakos, who are 400/1 outsiders with Sky Bet to win the Champions League. It was the ideal draw for David Moyes, who has been under pressure after United's struggles in the Premier League.

Olympiakos only squeezed into the knockout stages for the first time since 2009/10 after a 3-1 win over eight-man Anderlecht on the final Matchday, with veteran Javier Saviola scoring twice in the game. Kostas Mitroglou will also be a threat to United after the Greece international finished as Olympiakos' top scorer in the group stages while former City man Vladimir Weiss is another one to watch.

However, United should be too strong for Olympiakos, despite Michel's team being eight points clear at the top of the Greek Super League at present. Moyes will know, amid the problems United have been encountering in the Premier League, the Champions League offers a remaining chance to impress in his debut season since succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson. The thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen in the group stages demonstrated what they are still capable of on their day.

First legs to be played 18/19/25/26th February 2014; Second legs to be played 11//12/18/19th March, 2014

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W

ell thats the most one sided, Mourinho ass kissing, Terry loving conlcusions I have ever read. Does Daniel Storey have a tattoo of the Chelsea crest on his calf too? What a plonker.

goonergo
16 Conclusions: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

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or the laugh we should finish the season with a front three of Borini & Balotelli, spearheaded by one R Lambert. What's the actual worst thing that could happen?

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Liverpool 'can finish fourth'

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ou know when your toddler has such a massive illogical and inconsistent tantrum that you just can't help but laugh at it? Bingo..

ted maul
16 Conclusions: Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

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