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Last 16 continue march to Wembley

Published: Saturday 1 January 2011, 9.00CET
With a repeat of last season's final on the horizon, the race to reach Wembley this year is sure to to ramp up a gear when the UEFA Champions League resumes next month.
Last 16 continue march to Wembley
Wembley Stadium will host the 2011 UEFA Champions League final ©Getty Images
Published: Saturday 1 January 2011, 9.00CET

Last 16 continue march to Wembley

With a repeat of last season's final on the horizon, the race to reach Wembley this year is sure to to ramp up a gear when the UEFA Champions League resumes next month.

With 30 European Champion Clubs' Cups between the 16 sides left in UEFA Champions League contention, competition to reach the Wembley showpiece is sure to be fierce all the way.

FC Internazionale Milano and FC Bayern München know what lies ahead having contested last season's showpiece in Madrid, though there will be no repeat after the draw paired them in the round of 16.

Real Madrid CF enjoyed the most emphatic path through the group stage but must overcome their own conquerors at this stage last term – Olympique Lyonnais – if they are to avoid stumbling at the first knockout hurdle for the seventh successive season. In José Mourinho they have a man at the helm well accustomed to success in Europe's premier club competition.

The name of FC Barcelona has twice been etched on the trophy since their great Liga rivals last reached even the final eight of Europe's premier club competition. The Azulgrana, though, may have a certain Wembley night in 1992 on their minds as they seek to return to a revamped version of a stadium that offers fond memories.

They may get an early glimpse of the home of English football in February when they travel to nearby Arsenal FC, who stand in the way once more. Tickets for this season's denouement go on sale on UEFA.com in March, and Arsenal's neighbours Tottenham Hotspur FC are also hoping for a short season-ending trip across north London.

Tottenham – propelled by the dynamic Gareth Bale – lit up the group stage, most notably against holders Inter. A return to San Siro beckons for a side hoping to renew acquaintances with former striker and current final ambassador Gary Lineker on 28 May.

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Even Spurs, though, were breached by Nerazzurri striker Samuel Eto'o, with three of the Cameroon striker's tournament-leading seven goals coming against Harry Redknapp's side. Such form has made him hot property in our official Fantasy Football game.

With 96 group stage games down, and 29 knockout fixtures to go, there is plenty of chance to put your neck on the line and predict the outcome of every remaining fixture.

Draw and match calendar
15, 16, 22, 23/02 and 08, 09, 15, 16/03 – round of 16
18/03 – draws for quarter-finals, semi-finals and final
05, 06, 12, 13/04 – quarter-finals
26, 27/04 and 03, 04/05 – semi-finals
28/05/11 – final

Last updated: 05/09/11 17.02CET

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