The full consequences of Arsenal and Manchester City’s inability to finish at the top of their respective Champions League groups will be revealed on Monday morning when the draw for the last 16 is made at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Last week’s dramatic final round of fixtures that eventually saw last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund finish ahead of Arsène Wenger’s side on goal difference leaves the Premier League leaders facing potential ties against reigning champions and favourites Bayern Munich or Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are the other sides they can be drawn against but despite losing to Bayern at this stage last season, defender Per Mertesacker would welcome another stiff challenge. “If you want to achieve something in the Champions League, you have to take every opponent seriously and I think it is better for us when we have a good lot, when there is a draw that we can concentrate on,” he said.
City also missed the opportunity to win their group after Manuel Pellegrini’s miscalculation in the 3-2 win in Munich and will therefore face a similarly tough proposition, against the same potential opponents as Arsenal except for Dortmund instead of Bayern.
Things should be more straightforward for the other two English sides in the draw, with Chelsea facing one of Milan, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg or Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United the same line-up, with Schalke replacing the Germans.
Meanwhile, Tottenham and Swansea will both learn their fates for the last 32 of the Europa League. The 12 group winners – including Andre Villas-Boas’s side – and four best third-ranked teams drop down from the Champions League to make up one half of the draw, meaning Spurs could face one of former European champions Ajax, Juventus and Porto.
In the other pot will be Swansea as one of the 12 group runners up, plus the remaining third-placed Champions League sides, with Napoli, Benfica or Shakhtar Donetsk potential opponents.
The draw for the last 16 will also take place immediately afterwards.
Monday’s draw details
Chelsea potential opponents:
Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit
Milan, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Schalke, Zenit
A Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, PSG
A Madrid, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, PSG
Europa League round of 32 and 16 draws
Tottenham could face:
Ajax, Juventus, Porto, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Dynamo Kiev, Real Betis, Lazio or one of seven others
Swansea could face:
Napoli, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Basel, Fiorentina, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sevilla, Lyon or one of six others