While there are no easy games to be found in the last 16 of Champions League, Premiership representatives did get some of harder assignments in the draw on December 19th. On plus side, Chelsea and Arsenal did manage to avoid Barcelona, current form team in Europe. That short straw went to French champions Lyon. In fact Arsenal will be happiest of English quartet.
AS Roma are team to be respected, but they are not the best team in Italy and they have been found wanting in later stages of past two seasons. Manchester United beat them with ease at quarter-final stage in both 2007 and 2008.
They did defeat Chelsea in group stages but they are a bit lightweight up front for this level. Roma’s strength lies in midfield with Italian World Cup winners Perotta and De Rossi, tough Chilean Pizarro and long-term skipper Francesco Totti dropping deep.
Arsenal will fancy their chances in a passing contest and Arsene Wenger’s team thrive in Europe. The Gunners could have had much tougher opponents.
Chelsea avoided Barcelona but did get Juventus and a meeting with their former coach Claudio Ranieiri. Juve currently lie second in Serie A and are gradually rebuilding their dominant position which was shattered by their demotion to Serie B for match fixing.
Two players who stayed with them when they dropped down are still critical up front. The evergreen Alessandro Del Piero has 4 Champions League goals already and Davide Trezeguet is always threat around the box.