Chelsea appear to have been delivered the trickiest task as they were drawn against leaders of La Liga Barcelona when the draw for the last 16 took place in Nyon on Monday..
Chelsea tie against Barcelona is the tastiest. This is the sixth time those two sides have been drawn against each other in the Champions League knockout stages
Chelsea were the only English team to make it through as runners-up, with the other four sides all topping their respective groups.
The Premier league side , Manchester City will play Switzerland’s Basel, Manchester United face La Liga side Sevilla and Liverpool take on Portugal’s Porto. why champion league Holders Real Madrid will face Paris St-Germain.
Chelsea coming through a tense last-four clash in 2012 before beating Bayern Munich in the final. The ensuing drought has rarely looked like being broken but he detects an increased threat this time.
Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte said, “Our reaction must be positive.
“As we know very well, when you are in this stage you must be ready to face every team. In this case we must be ready to face Barcelona.
“When you play Barcelona, you must put in 120 per cent at home and away if you want to hope to go to the next round.
“The past is the past. Now it’s the present, another story. It’s totally different.
“I think this type of game is a good chance for every player to show the right value. Every player has to play in the right way.
“I think our priority must be the league, must be to try to stay up and try to fight for a Champions League place. That must be our priority in this moment.
“Then when it will be the moment to play against Barcelona we will start to think of the game against Barcelona.
“We must be very realistic to understand that this league is very dangerous. We have to go game by game.”
Conte said. “Four teams arrived at the top of their group and it means they are really strong. It will be difficult to face English teams, especially in February. But then in March, April, I don’t know because when you accumulate many games in the players’ legs it will be more difficult for them to reach something important. But at the same time this could be the right season for an English team to win the Champions League.”
As for Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool – things have gone pretty well there haven’t they? Basel were the easiest side available and City should brush them aside with minimal fuss.
Sevill are currently fifth in La Liga and United will fully expect to see them off. Liverpool will not have things all their way against a Porto side top of their league and unbeaten domestically in 14 games. However, the Portuguese side only managed to finish second in a Champions League group won by Besiktas.
Last-16 ties Full draw
Juventus v Tottenham
Basel v Manchester City
Porto v Liverpool
Sevilla v Manchester United
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma
Chelsea v Barcelona
Bayern Munich v Besiktas.