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13.12.2007 14:19

Possible opponents in the last 16


Barša could face any one of seven teams in the next round of the Champions League, including such powerful clubs as Arsenal, Liverpool and Roma.

The draw for the knockout stage of the Champions League will be held on Friday 21st December and will pair Barša with one of seven teams, all of which finished second in their groups. The second leg of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou thanks to Barša’s first-place finish in Group E.

Arsenal: Despite finishing second behind Sevilla, the side managed by ArsŔne Wenger is having a fantastic season in the Premier League, which they lead by a one-point margin over Manchester. The Arsenal squad is extremely young and features players such as Cesc, Van Persie and Adabayor, who have made Arsenal one of the sensations of European football.

nakamura.jpgCeltic: The Scottish side finished second in Group D behind AC Milan thanks to their 100% home record at Celtic Park. They also top the Scottish Premier League with a five-point lead over Rangers, who have two games in hand.

Fenerbahše: Head coach Zico has taken the Turkish outfit to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history with a squad that relies heavily on a nucleus of Brazilian players including Roberto Carlos, Edu and Deivid. Fenerbahše finished second in Group G behind Inter Milan and currently top the Turkish league by one point over Galatasaray.

torres.jpgLiverpool: The legendary English club, managed by Spanish coach Rafa BenÝtez, recovered from a disastrous start to the competition, in which they took just one point from three games, to win the last three matches and finish second in their group with 10 points. They are in fourth position in the Premier League, seven points behind Arsenal with a game in hand. Of the seven, they are, undoubtedly, the team everyone will want to avoid.

Olympiacos: The Greek club has had an exceptional group stage finishing second behind Real Madrid but with the same points tally. They have a strong squad including a number of faces familiar to fans of the Spanish league such as Galletti, Kovacevic and Ra˙l Bravo. They occupy second place in the Greek league three points behind AEK Athens.

Roma: The Italian side, coached by Luciano Spalletti, finished second behind a powerful Manchester United. They have an outstanding squad with players such as Totti, De Rossi and former Barša winger Giuly. They’re also having a good domestic season and are second in the table with 32 points, 5 adrift of Inter Milan.

kuranyi.jpgSchalke 04: In a group where Chelsea and Valencia were clear favourites to take the top two positions, Schalke put together a magnificent run to reach the last 16, clinching qualification with a win over Rosenborg. However, they have not matched their CL success in the Bundesliga where they are seventh, nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Possible opponents in the last 16
Familiar faces
Most of these seven possible opponents have crossed Barša’s path before in the Champions League. Liverpool knocked Barša out of last year’s competition, though last year’s second leg was played at Anfield. However, another English club, Arsenal, holds rather better memories for Barša fans as beaten finalist in the 2006 Champions league final won by Barša, the second in the Club’s history.

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