Real Madrid vs Ajax, Atleti against Juventus in UEFA Champions League last-16

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Nyon (Switzerland), Dec 17 (IANS) Real Madrid has been paired with AFC Ajax in the UEFA Champions League last-16, according to the draw conducted at the continental governing body here on Monday.

Real Madrid will seek to keep their campaign for a fourth consecutive continental club elite title rolling against a team, which is seemingly an accessible opponent, but they booked a place in the knock-out stage as the runner up of Group E ahead of Benfica, reports Efe news.

Their domestic nemesis Barcelona, meanwhile, will take on Olympique Lyonnais in another relatively easy tie, but they could pose a real danger to the Spanish giants as they had already defeated Manchester City in the round-robin opener.

By contrast, Atletico has been drawn against Juventus, led by Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was a key part of Real Madrid’s successful campaigns and found the back of the net three times in the 2016-2017 Champions League semifinal.

Besides Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid would be forced to face once-ally Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic, who joined Juve in 2015 following a season at the Spanish club.

In another showdown, 2017/2018 runner-up Liverpool will take on Bayern Munich.

The current Premier League leader will rely on their formidable forward line of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firminho to get past Bayern, who has been witnessing ups and downs this season.

The Bavarian club holds the third spot in the Bundesliga table, nine points behind leader Borussia Dortmund.

Another tough clash is ahead of Dortmund themselves, as they will take on Tottenham Hotspur, while the Premier League-Bundesliga clashes at the Champions League knock out stage continue with a tie pitting City against Schalke.

Paris Saint German, meanwhile, will play Manchester United, while Roma will take on Porto.

The first leg of the last-16 round will get underway on February 12-13 and 19-20, while the second leg will be played on March 5-6 and 12-13.



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