The wait is over. The draw for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League has been made.
English clubs are visibly the most hard done by, with Chelsea and Arsenal facing tough tests against Italian sides Napoli and AC Milan, respectively. The La Liga giants have been handed out a comparatively easier fixture. While Barcelona face German giants Bayer Leverkusen, Mouriho's Galacticos face off against CSKA Moscow. Bayern Munich will fight it out against this season's giant-hunters, FC Basel, who are on a high after beating and ultimately throwing out the competition.
Inter Milan, who are currently in a bad run will have their hands full with French club Marseille. FC Lyon, who delivered a scintillating performance to secure their qualification into the knockout stages, were handed a plum fixture with APOEL Nicosia to deal with. The other fixture involves SL Benfica and Zenit St.Petersburg, which is expected to be a battle of equals.
It is till February 14th, 2012 when the clubs face off in their knock-out fixtures. Until then, let us take a look into the five players who can make all the difference in the knock-out stages.