As we sit here nervously waiting to learn Arsenal’s opponents in the Champions League Round of 16 when the draw is made at FIFA headquarters in Nyon Switzerland Monday morning, we cannot help but look back to last year’s draw and the euphoria we all felt about being drawn against tiny Monaco rather than a powerhouse like Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Well we all know now how that worked out so perhaps we would be in better stead should we come up against Barcelona and their studded team that includes Lionel Messi, Louis Suarez and Brazilian whiz kid Neymar, not to mention one of the best midfields in the world and a goalkeeper nearly as good as Petr Cech in German international Marc-André ter Stegen.
To help explain how the draw will be made, teams that finished top of their Groups such as Bayern Munich in Arsenal’s case cannot play other group winners, teams from their own countries or the side that finished second of the group they won.
• Group winners: Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg
• Group runners-up: Paris Saint-Germain, PSV Eindhoven, Benfica, Juventus, Roma, Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev, Gent
For Arsenal this means they will come up against Real Madrid, Wolfsburg, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or Zenit St Petersburg. Who would you rather be facing?
Well it appears as if the worst, and who knows perhaps the best possible thing has happened now that Arsenal know they will have to beat Barcelona in order to move on to the last eight of the competition.
On the bright side if Arsenal were to slay the Catalan giants they would certainly not be afraid of their next opponents and may very well just have the confidence to go all the way to Milan and win the whole thing.