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Arsenal avoid the top guns in the Champions League

The draw for the UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 16 took place in Nyon earlier today with Arsenal and Manchester City learning their fate.

Arsenal

Still ranked as an unseeded team, Arsenal again avoided the big three in the Champions League.

Having eased past Serie A runners-up Fiorentina in the round of 32, Arsenal would have been a long way from favourites against the likes of Lyon, VfL Wolfsburg, Barcelona and even a red-hot Paris Saint-Germain. Unable to draw Manchester City at this stage of the competition, that realistically left Arsenal with three teams they could draw to avoid maximum jeopardy.

The last unseeded team out, the Gunners have been draw against the former Czech champions Slavia Praha who have reached the quarter-finals for the last two seasons running. Given the strength of the Arsenal team and individual experience of Joe Montemurro’s players, the Gunners will come down on the side of favourites in the tie, yet they won’t be given an easy ride at the Eden Arena or even in Borehamwood.

Manchester City

Although the headlines are likely to focus around the return of Toni Duggan to Manchester, the bigger story will be whether or not Atletico Madrid have pulled themselves out of the tailspin they’re trying to keep themselves out of.

Handed a humbling loss in the league, the Spanish champions have looked far from convincing the Europe so far this year, only just avoiding defeat against unfancied Spartak Subotica in each of their two round of 32 legs. With a wealth of talent in the team, they remain a side that can turn it on at the drop of a hat but still seem to have lost a little of that typical Atleti edge. With City keen to settle the scores after being knocked out of the Champions League in the first round by the same opposition last season, the tie promises to be one of the tastier of the round.

Full draw

Glasgow City vs Brøndby
Barcelona vs Minsk
BIIK Kazygurt vs Bayern München
Olympique Lyonnais vs Fortuna Hjørring
Paris Saint-Germain vs Breiðablik
VfL Wolfsburg vs Twente
Slavia Praha vs Arsenal
Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid

The first legs will take place on the 16 or 17 or October with the return legs scheduled for the 30 and 31.

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