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What to look out for in the UEFA Champions League round of 16

A rematch of last season's final and some tough assignments for the German contenders were among the stories to come out of the draw.

Christopher Nkunku, Mohamed Salah and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Christopher Nkunku, Mohamed Salah and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting @Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw has thrown up some stellar ties and intriguing match-ups.

We pick out some key talking points as the build-up to February's openers begins.

Adjust your Fantasy team!

Round of 16 matches

14 February (first leg) / 8 March (second leg)
AC Milan (ITA) vs Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) vs Bayern (GER)

15 February / 7 March
Club Brugge (BEL) vs Benfica (POR)
Dortmund (GER) vs Chelsea (ENG)

21 February / 15 March
Liverpool (ENG) vs Real Madrid (ESP)
Frankfurt (GER) vs Napoli (ITA)

22 February / 14 March
Leipzig (GER) vs Manchester City (ENG)
Inter (ITA) vs Porto (POR)

All kick-offs 21:00 CET.

What to look out for

Third time lucky for Liverpool?

Liverpool have been one of the most swashbuckling sides in the competition in recent seasons – and have this season's joint-top scorer in Mohamed Salah – but Real Madrid have been their Kryptonite in the last two years. The Reds scored just one goal in two games as they succumbed to the Merengues in the 2020/21 quarter-finals then drew a blank in last season's showpiece in Paris, largely thanks to Thibaut Courtois' heroics.

"This draw is proper Champions League," said Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. "Real's European record is the best around. We know this. But we also know that ours is not too bad. On top of this, we know that we have Anfield and everyone knows what this means."

Liverpool vs Real Madrid previous meetings

Leipzig to shock Man City again?

Friends will also be reunited when Leipzig play host to Manchester City in the round of 16. These sides met in the group stage last season with the German team having the final word when they won 2-1 on Matchday 6. They gave Pep Guardiola's outfit problems in the first meeting as well, Christopher Nkunku grabbing a hat-trick in a 6-3 thriller, but Leipzig know defensive solidity will be pivotal to their chances in this tie.

"Last year City had some outstanding players, and this year with Erling Haaland they've got even stronger," said Leipzig defender Willi Orbán. "In the first leg, you need to set yourself up well for the second leg. That's how we will approach it. We're playing at home first; we will try to pick up a good result. We need to be aware that it's all about the result."

Highlights: Man. City 6-3 Leipzig

Paris old boys to haunt them again?

There's another repeat of a recent final when Paris go head to head with Bayern. Kingsley Coman scored the winner against his former club in the 2020 decider and, though the French side enacted revenge in the quarter-finals in the following season, another former Paris player, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, struck in both legs of that tie. Will either make the difference this time?

"Tough opponent. We've already had tough opponents in the group, finished first in the table and still weren't rewarded," said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann. "Paris finished second on Matchday 6 but that's the Champions League. There are no easy opponents."

2020 final highlights: Paris 0-1 Bayern

Where is the 2023 UEFA Champions League final being played?

The 2022/23 Champions League season will conclude at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium on 10 June 2023.

Built to support Türkiye's bid to stage the 2008 Olympic Games, the venue opened in 2002 and is home to the Turkish national team. Situated in the Başakşehir area of the city, west of the Bosphorus, it boasts a seated capacity of over 75,000.