On Monday morning, UEFA will draw the eight Round of 16 matchups for the start of the UEFA Champions League knockout stage. For Barcelona, there are seven potential opponents, and we'd like to ask you: which team would you rather face in February?
Here's a quick look at the teams that could face Barça next:
The defending Premier League champions weren't supposed to be here, but somehow they found a way to qualify for the next phase after a disastruous group stage. With only two wins in six matches, both coming in the last two games, the Citizens had to beat Bayern Munich to even get a chance to qualify against Roma. And they pulled it off, with a hard-fought win in Italy.
They suffered, sure, but they're still Manchester City, and they deserve respect. Last season, Barça vs City happened exactly at this same stage, and the Blaugrana beat the Citizens both at Etihad Stadium and Camp Nou, and advanced to the quarterfinals. If the draw puts them together once again, Barça should have the advantage based on their result from last season.
The Gunners have a long history with the Blaugrana, both on and off the pitch. Coach Arsène Wenger has always looked at Barça to buy talent, as they did once again this summer, buying Aléxis Sánchez. The Chile superstar has been in phenomenal form, leading Arsenal to a strong group stage campaign, as they finished tied with Borussia Dortmund for the lead, but advancing in second place due to goal difference disadvantage.
Arsenal are trying to change an ugly streak of multiple Round of 16 eliminations in a row. The streak could continue if they face Barça, but maybe Alexis has a little surprise for his former club.
The defending Serie A champions suffered a little more than they wanted to, but eventually were able to qualify for the Round of 16 with a 3-win, 10-point campaign. Led by Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Paul Pogba, The Old Lady wants to become relevant in European competition once again, and a win against a team like Barcelona would definitely help them get there.
Basel are the biggest surprise in this knockout stage, surprising the struggling Liverpool and finishing second in a group dominated by the defending champions, Real Madrid. The Swiss kings showed strength and won four key points against the Reds, which gave them an edge over Liverpool. Basel have become a respectable adversary over the last couple of UCL appearances, and they should never be taken from granted if they become Barça's adversary.
The Ukraine powerhouse fought hard in group H and eventually beat Athletic Bilbao in the race for the second spot in a group dominated by FC Porto. Striker Luiz Adriano is the tournament's sensation. He's this season's top scorer, thanks to an unbelievable five-goal performance against BATE Borisov. If Shakhtar face Barcelona, Adriano will meet Lionel Messi in a battle of the top scorers in the UCL so far. Should be fun.
Bayer qualified with certain ease, sending Zenit to the Europa League and finishing only one point behind Monaco, the group champs. The German were destroyed by Paris Saint-Germain when they played in the Round of 16 last season, and the outcome shouldn't be that different if they get to face Barça.
Another German potential opponent, Schalke sweated a lot to beat Sporting in the race to be second in Group G, which was totally controlled by Chelsea from start to finish. They're possibly the weakest potential opponent for Barça. Schalke's defense is the worst of all the 16 teams that qualified for the knockout stage, and they should be an easy task for Barça, if they're indeed the next opponent for the Blaugrana.
Now, it's up to you to answer the question: which team would you rather see facing Barça in the UCL Round of 16?
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