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KNOCK-OUT Liverpool and Chelsea handed tough Champions League tests in last-16 draw

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Image: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Image: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Image: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Liverpool and Chelsea may have won their Champions League groups, but they have still been handed tough draws in the last-16.

Six-time champions Liverpool will take on dangerous German opponents RB Leipzig, who sealed their place in the knock-out phase by ending Manchester United's interest in the competition last week.

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard's Chelsea will take on Atletico Madrid, who knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League last season.

Manchester City appear to have been handed the best draw of all the English clubs as they take on Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, while the clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona is an eye-catching showdown to look forward to in 2021.

Bayern Munich may be the Champions League holders and the bookies' favorites to hang on to the trophy, but former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman believes England's 'big two' are the teams to beat in this season's competition.

"For me, the English clubs are favourites to win the Champions League this season," two-time Champions League winner McManaman told the Sunday World at a BT Sport event.

"Bayern Munich are in the mix and they are a very good team, but Liverpool and Manchester City are strong contenders.

"You look at Barcelona and Real Madrid and they have massive problems at the moment.

"Then the Italian teams are not quite strong enough, so Liverpool and City have a real chance to go close in the Champions League.

"A little bit of luck is required at crucial moments in the latter stages of the competition and Liverpool didn’t quite get that against Atletico Madrid last season.

"I’d expect them to be right there at the back end of the Champions League this season and if Liverpool can have most of their top players fit and available by then, they have a real chance as they are clearly one of the top sides in Europe."

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