The draw for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League first knockout round continued the sense of déjà vu that also applied to the group stage, with holders Real Madrid and arch-rivals Barcelona being paired with familiar opponents.
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For no club has the air of familiarity been more acute this season than Manchester City who, having been pooled with Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow for the second consecutive campaign, now also face Barcelona in the last 16 just as they did in 2013-14.
Last term, Barcelona triumphed 4-1 on aggregate and again the first leg will be played at the Etihad Stadium where goals from Lionel Messi (penalty) and Dani Alves earned the Spanish club a 2-0 advantage on their previous visit.
Real Madrid will hope that facing the same last-16 opponents as last season is a positive omen in their quest to retain the trophy as they again go up against German club Schalke, whom they beat 9-2 on aggregate having won 6-1 away from home.
quote Real Madrid as their 11/4 favourites to become the first club since AC Milan in 1990 to retain the European Cup, ahead of 3/1 second favourites Bayern Munich who will meet rank outsiders Shakhtar Donetsk.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) takes a free-kick against Schalke (Getty Images)
Of the other two English clubs still involved, Arsenal will be happier having been drawn against their manager Arsene Wenger’s former club Monaco, whereas more déjà vu is involved for Chelsea who take on Paris Saint-Germain.
Jose Mourinho’s side also faced PSG in last season’s quarter-finals and went through with a 2-0 home win – thanks to a late Demba Ba goal – having lost 3-1 in the French capital, with Brazil defender/midfielder David Luiz now on the opposite team after leaving Chelsea for £40million in the summer.
Schalke v Real is not the only Germany v Madrid clash thrown up by the draw because Bayer Leverkusen were paired with last season’s runners-up Atletico.
The fourth German club still involved, Borussia Dortmund, are up against Italian champions Juventus, with the remaining tie being between Basel, who knocked out Liverpool, and Porto.
2014-15 UEFA Champions League last-16 draw:
Schalke v Real Madrid
Shakhtar Donetsk v Bayern Munich
Manchester City v Barcelona
Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Arsenal v Monaco
Juventus v Borussia Dortmund
Basel v Porto