City cut for Euro glory as English rivals get tests

THE draw for the last 16 of the Champions League has produced some cracking ties involving English clubs but trophy favourites Manchester City won't be complaining after being paired with unglamorous Schalke in the first knockout round.

Pep Guardiola's side, 7-2 market leaders before the draw, have hardened to 3-1 and are 1-33 with bet365 to see off the Germans, who lie 13th in the Bundesliga. Schalke are 14-1 to qualify from the tie.

Things are less straightforward for the other Premier League representatives, however, as Manchester United take on Paris St-Germain, Liverpool face Bayern Munich, and Tottenham tackle Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Round-of-16 draw
Schalke v Manchester City
Atletico Madrid v Juventus
Manchester United v PSG
Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund
Lyon v Barcelona
Roma v Porto
Ajax v Real Madrid
Liverpool v Bayern Munich

First legs take place on February 12-13 and 19-20; second legs are on March 5-6 and 12-13.

United have been pushed out from 40-1 to 50-1 after being drawn against the French champions, who finished top of Liverpool's group. The Red Devils are 12-5 to get past PSG.

Liverpool, last season's runners-up, are 10-1 from 9-1 as Jurgen Klopp looks forward to a showdown with Bayern, who are nine points off the pace in Germany. Bet365 make the Reds slight favourites at 3-4 to make the quarter-finals.

And bookmakers expect a tight contest between Tottenham and Dortmund, with the qualification odds 10-11 your choice. Betfred have cut the Bundesliga leaders from 28-1 to 25-1 to lift the trophy – the same price as Spurs.

Juventus face Atletico Madrid in another heavyweight clash while second-favourites Barcelona have been trimmed from 5-1 to 9-2 following their draw with Lyon. Holders Real Madrid face Ajax and Roma take on Porto.

Sky Bet offer 6-4 that there is an English winner of the Champions League. Spain are next in the betting at 9-4 in the winning nation market with Italy at 6-1, France 7-1 and Germany 8-1.

The Premier League has a strong hand in the Europa League too with Chelsea 4-1 favourites after being drawn against Malmo in the last 32.

Arsenal, 6-1 second-favourites for the trophy, face Bate Borisov in the first knockout round and 66-1 shots Celtic will play Valencia, who took four points off Manchester United in Champions League Group H this season.

Europa League round-of-32 draw
Viktoria Plzen v Dinamo Zagreb
Club Brugge v RB Salzburg
Rapid Vienna v Inter
Slavia Prague v Genk
Krasnodar v Bayer Leverkusen
FC Zurich v Napoli
Malmo v Chelsea
Shakhtar Donetsk v Eintracht Frankfurt
Celtic v Valencia
Rennes v Real Betis
Olympiakos v Dynamo Kiev
Lazio v Sevilla
Fenerbahce v Zenit St Petersburg
Sporting Lisbon v Villarreal
Bate Borisov v Arsenal
Galatasaray v Benfica  
First legs take place on February 12 & 14 and 20-21; second legs are on March 5-6 and 12-13.

Match in Focus

14:00 Su 18Aug SKY

Sheff Utd v Crystal Palace

Home WinDrawAway Win
Expert verdict
Crystal Palace held Everton to a goalless draw on the opening day and they could play out another low-scoring affair when they take on Sheffield United. Palace lacked guile last weekend while the Blades also look a little short going forward and may struggle to break their visitors down.



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