Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Champions League title holder Bayern Munich will play Arsenal in the final 16 of this year’s competition, while Manchester City will take on four-time winners Barcelona.
Bayern defeated the north London team last year on its way to the final, while it’s the first time Manchester City has reached this far in the tournament of Europe’s top soccer clubs.
“It will be difficult given that we will be playing against an excellent team; a team of champions whose players have a great mentality,” Txiki Beguiristain, Manchester City sporting director, said to tournament organizer UEFA. “We are also doing very well and we are scoring a lot of goals which is filling us with confidence. We will be strong.”
Berguiristain used to work at Barcelona, and City manager Manuel Pellegrini coached Real Madrid.
Bayern and Arsenal met in last year’s knockout stage, with the German team winning 3-1 in London before losing 2-0 at home. The Gunners were eliminated on away goals.
Dortmund, which lost last year’s final, will travel to St. Petersburg to face Zenit.
“I can live with this draw, but Zenit do have a host of quality players such as Hulk and others,” Hans-Joachim Watzke, Dortmund sporting director, told UEFA. “It’s not the shortest trip for us, but we will manage.”
Chelsea’s match with Galatasaray will bring the return of Didier Drogba to the west London club, where he scored 157 times in 341 games before leaving in 2012.
Olympiacos will take on defending English Premier League champion Manchester United, while AC Milan meets Atletico Madrid. Bayer Leverkusen plays Paris Saint Germain and Germany’s Schalke will host record nine-time winner Real Madrid.
The eight seeded clubs will visit the unseeded teams for the first leg of the competition. The first round will be held on Feb. 18 and 19 or Feb. 25 and 26, with the final games coming on March 11, 12, 18 or 19.
The final will take place in the Estadio do Sport in Lisbon on May 24.
Champions League Last 16 Unseeded Teams Seeded Teams Manchester City vs Barcelona Olympiacos vs Manchester United AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid Bayer Leverkusen vs Paris Saint Germain Galatasary vs Chelsea Schalke vs Real Madrid Zenit vs Borussia Dortmund Arsenal vs Bayern Munich
To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jay Beberman at firstname.lastname@example.org