With two debutants and four of last year's last sixteen set for rematches will there be any surprises on the cards?
Paris Saint Germain vs BIIK-Kazygurt
Having made history as the first Kazakhstani team to reach the last sixteen, Kazygurt are in for a stern test against 2015 runner’s up, PSG. Both teams relied on their home dominance to guide them through the last round and with the Parisians drawn at home for the first leg it’s hard to see a surprise on the cards.
FC Barcelona vs FC Twente
In a repeat of last year’s competition, Barcelona and Twente are meeting in the last sixteen once again, with the slight difference that the Dutch team will be at home in the first leg. Having dominated both legs of their tie against Minsk and with the knowledge that they defeated the same opponents at the same stage last year, Barcelona will be going into the tie on top. Conversely Twente wobbled over their ro32 matches against AC Sparta Praha and will have to be on their best form to avoid sobering déjà vu.
SK Slavia Praha vs FC Rosengård
Having trumped fellow Prague side Sparta Championship round of the Czech First Division to retain their crown, Slavia once again bested their neighbours in the UWCL, making it to the last 16 where Sparta fell at the round of 32. However the Czech champions haven’t been rewarded for their hard work and will hope for a strong first leg against last season’s quarter finalists, Rosengård. The Malmö based team are having a 2016 to forget, after getting knocked out of last season’s UWCL on penalties this week saw them loose the Swedish title to Linköping and will be looking to finish the year on a high and once again reach the last eight.
Manchester City vs Brøndby IF
After getting over opening night nerves, City cruised to victory against Zvezda Perm and coming into the draw as the lowest ranked team have once again done well to avoid the bigger teams. That being said, Brøndby shouldn’t be easily written off, City’s Achilles in the competition in their sheer lack of European experience, something Danes have in abundance. Although not a Lyon or Wolfsburg, Brøndby have featured in every season of the UWCL’s existence, with varying fortune over the years having reached the semi-final as recently as 2015 and will provided a good test for the English champions.
AFC Brescia vs Fortuna Hjørring
The second of last season’s last sixteen rematches is Brescia against Fortuna, the Italian champions versus the Danish champions. Relatively new to the competition. Brescia enjoyed their best run when they bested Hjørring last year before falling to a heavy defeat to Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals. Conversely, the Danes seem to be stuck in a loop, repeatedly going out in the last sixteen, not having been deeper in Europe since the old style UEFA Women’s Cup in 2003. Just as last year, the Italians have been drawn at home for the first leg and will be looking to keep a clean sheet as they did last year but after such a close contest in 2015, this rematch promises to be one to watch.
Olympique Lyonnais vs FC Zürich
A consistent fixture in the UWCL, the Swiss champions struggle to progress through the competition and have twice gone out at the round of 16 in two of the last three years and have been given the ultimate test against the current holders. After having eased to an aggregated 9-0 victory over Sturm Graz, Zürich could be in for a taste of their own medicine against a Lyon side that scored 35 goals en route to the final last year.
Eskilstuna United vs VfL Wolfsburg
The second debutants to reach the last 16 this year are last season’s Swedish runners up, Eskilstuna United, who unlike fellow newcomers Man City haven’t managed to avoid last season’s finalists. Having held their own over two legs against seasoned Glasgow City, Eskilstuna earned their place against Wolfsburg but will have to be at their best to hold of the two-time winners. The Wolves put in a thoroughly dominant performance away from home to hold a 3-0 advantage going into the second-leg of their clash against Chelsea but thoroughly underperformed against the Blues, if Wolfsburg are to make their fourth final Ralf Kellermann will demand nothing but professionalism.
FC Bayern München vs WFC Rossiyanka
Coming into the draw as the highest ranked unseeded team, a handful of lower ranked seeded teams would have been happy to avoid the German champions but in what is the closest tie – based purely on coefficient – will be a stern test for the seeded team. Having made the last sixteen at the eleventh hour with a stoppage time winner against SFK Sarajevo, Rossiyanka have been handed a thankless draw never having beaten a German side in the competition. Having easily put ten past Hibernian over two legs, Munich have made an early statement, keen to get over the heartbreak of a round of 32 exit last year, the Bavarians boast an embarrassment of riches and should be taking a strong first leg lead with them to an unfriendly away stadium.
The first legs will take place on 9 and 10 November and the second legs on 16 and 17 November.
***Eskilstuna were initially drawn against Rossiyanka but with teams from the same country/association unable to meet at this stage of the competition the appropriate guidelines were followed to see seeded Wolfsburg take Rossiyanka’s place against Eskilstuna as the Russians remained the away team against unseeded Bayern Munich.