Alex Song hopeful Champions League draw will reunite him with Arsenal

Midfielder left The Emirates for Barcelona during the summer

Barcelona midfielder Alex Song would welcome a return to Arsenal when
the Champions League round of 16 draw is made in Nyon tomorrow morning.

The Spanish giants are one of six teams Arsene Wenger's group runners-up could face, alongside Paris St Germain, Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Song swapped the Emirates Stadium for the Nou Camp when he joined the Arsenal exodus during the summer and expects only one outcome if they meet for a place in the quarter-finals.

"Of course I would like to play against Arsenal. For me to go back there, where I had seven magnificent years, would be something very special," the 25-year-old said.

"If we draw Arsenal I'd be happy to see the fans again and go back to the club, even though if we go there it will be to get the best result possible.

"Arsenal's a big club, but Barcelona's a level above because of the talent of the players there.

"That's no disrespect to Arsenal because they have talented players, but I think the Barcelona players are above them. I saw a lot of people come and a lot of people go at Arsenal."

Song's desire will not be shared by the Gunners, who will be desperate to avoid a team that has been hailed by some as the greatest of all time.

Having finished second in Group B, the possibilities facing Arsenal are alarming and Wenger will also be anxious to evade last year's beaten finalists Bayern Munich and Serie A leaders Juventus.

Manchester United are the second Barclays Premier League side to make it through to the knockout stages after defending champions Chelsea and Manchester City failed to progress.

Real Madrid may be trailing Primera Division leaders Barcelona by 13 points but they are still the team Sir Alex Ferguson will want to avoid most, knowing only Champions League glory can redeem Jose Mourinho.

Porto, AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia and Celtic are the other possibilities, with the latter setting up a fascinating Battle of Britain contest.

Celtic defied all expectations to qualify as group runners-up behind Barcelona, in the process securing more points than any other Scottish team in the Champions League pool stages with 10.

Other than United, they could meet Malaga, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke or PSG.

Barcelona are favourites to claim their fourth Champions League title since 2006, followed by Real and Bayern, and Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez expects one of the heavyweights to be crowned winners.

"Barcelona, Real Madrid, the English teams, Bayern Munich and Juventus are strong teams," said Benitez, winner of the competition with Liverpool in 2005.

"Obviously they're the big names and they'll be there again, it won't change too much.

"You can find a surprise in some seasons but because those teams are so strong, I don't see there being any surprises this year."

Chelsea are second favourites behind Atletico Madrid to win the Europa League, their reward for finishing third in their Champions League group.

They are joined in the round of 32 by Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle, although none of the Premier League rivals are able to face each other at this stage.

Atletico are a possibility for Chelsea and Liverpool, while big names such as Inter Milan, Napoli, Benfica and Ajax remain in the competition.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed