UEFA Champions League: 5 Possible Round of 16 Matchups We'd Love to See

Max TowleAnalyst IDecember 5, 2012

UEFA Champions League: 5 Possible Round of 16 Matchups We'd Love to See

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    After one last night of group-stage fixtures, the 16 teams to enter the knockout stages of Champions League competition are now set.

    Juventus, Celtic and Galatasaray were the final few sides to avoid elimination on a nervy Wednesday night of European action.

    When the draw for the next round is made in two weeks, fans will await their side's fate with bated breath, dreaming of drawing certain teams, dreading others.

    Here are five potential matchups we'd love to see.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Arsenal

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    The Headline: Gallic Flair vs. Gallic Flair

    Why It Would Be Great: In their respective mission statements, both PSG and Arsenal aim to play stylish, fancy football.

    The Gunners' French boss Arsene Wenger may be currently under fire for his side's rather dreary domestic form, but on the European stage, PSG could reasonably expect a fair fight.

    Oh, and if rumours are to be believed, Wenger could soon be heading to the Parisian capital in the summer to take the helm of the continent's nouvelle vague (via Daily Mail).

    Key Battle: Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Per Mertesacker

Real Madrid vs. Manchester United

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    The Headline: José Mourinho vs. Alex Ferguson; Cristiano Ronaldo Returns to Old Trafford

    Why It Would Be Great: Though fans of both clubs would be a little dissatisfied with two potential winners meeting so early in the competition, Real Madrid vs. Manchester United would certainly be a tie to whet the appetite.

    One could reasonably expect goals galore from the matchup, not to mention the enticing prospect of former Red Devil Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford.

    José Mourinho could be getting an up-to-date look at his potential future destination, too (via The Guardian).

    Key Battle: Xabi Alonso vs. Wayne Rooney

Barcelona vs. AC Milan

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    The Headline: Can Stephan El Shaarawy Upstage Lionel Messi?

    Why It Would Be Great: Two European powerhouses come face-to-face as they attempt to bring glory to their massive legion of fans.

    Young forward and finishing extraordinaire Stephan El Sharaawy would get the opportunity to showcase his skills at the Nou Camp as he puts his team on his back.

    It will have been two whole years since Barca last won the trophy with the big ears come next May. Surely they can end this mighty drought then?

    Key Battle: Christian Abbiati vs. The World

Borussia Dortmund vs. Celtic

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    The Headline: Celtic Try to Keep the Dream Alive

    Why It Would Be Great: Two rabid sets of supporters trying to out-chant the other at their side's respective stadiums.

    Celtic have been the Cinderella story of the competition so far, while Borussia Dortmund have been the most impressive.

    If the Scottish team were to prevail, expect a few more tears from Rod Stewart.

    Key Battle: Mario Gotze vs. Victor Wanyama

Malaga vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

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    The Headline: Two Upstarts Try to Rewrite the Script

    Why It Would Be Great: Malaga has been a treat to watch in the Spanish club's debut Champions League season, while Shakhtar have continued to build on solid foundations.

    Led by the much-respected boss Manuel Pellegrini and the transcendent attacking midfielder Isco, the Andalusian side have surprised many with their dominant displays in Europe this season.

    Shakhtar will need to hang on to their Brazilian stars in January to have any hope of progressing further.

    Key Battle: Isco vs. Fernandinho

     

    What other Champions League matchups would you like to see in the next round of competition?