The 'Swedish Messi' who sunk Man United, a silky Spanish midfielder wanted by Arsenal and ANOTHER English winger at Dortmund... The players to watch as the Champions League returns

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The Champions League is yet back! Everyone's favourite nine title has reached nan knockout rounds and nan last-16 ties get underway this week.

Manchester City proceed their title defence against FC Copenhagen, who person already dumped retired their neighbours United this season.

Arsenal person been handed what appears a beautiful favourable tie against Porto arsenic they look to spell deeper, while Real Madrid - hopeless to triumph a 15th title - will return connected RB Leipzig.

Napoli vs Barcelona is nan 'Diego Maradona derby' and PSV Eindhoven vs Borussia Dortmund counts arsenic nan hipsters' choice.

Inter Milan's necktie against Atletico Madrid will beryllium good worthy watching, while Bayern Munich look a tricky duty against Lazio, and Paris Saint-Germain proceed their ngo to yet assistance nan celebrated trophy against Real Sociedad.

Ahead of nan last-16, we prime retired a fewer players you mightiness want to support an oculus on.

Europe's finest will dream to win Manchester City arsenic this year's Champions League winners


FC Copenhagen

Remember nan name? Manchester United surely did erstwhile Roony's precocious extremity settled a seven-goal thriller successful Copenhagen's favour during nan group stages.

Now nan Kuwait-born Sweden under-21 international, conscionable 18, is hoping to declare nan scalp of Manchester City successful what would magnitude to a seismic shock.

The teen has been nicknamed nan 'Swedish Messi' and has nan earthy expertise to wounded City if they're not careful.

Bardghji has gone nationalist pinch his ambition to play for Real Madrid 1 time but a number of apical European clubs - United included - are watching his advancement closely.

Roony Bardghji near Manchester United stunned successful nan group stages - now Man City await


RB Leipzig

While Real will beryllium beardown favourites to hit a Leipzig broadside good disconnected nan gait successful nan Bundesliga, they will beryllium wary of Belgian guardant Openda, who is enjoying an outstanding season.

He scored 4 goals successful nan group shape - 3 of those coming against Man City - and has 19 altogether this season. His 15 successful nan convention is down only Harry Kane and Stuttgart's Serhou Guirassy.

Openda, 23, did costs Leipzig £33million erstwhile they signed him from Lens past summertime but he's already proving fantabulous worth for money.

Lois Openda is enjoying a freescoring play for RB Leipzig and now faces Real Madrid 


Real Sociedad

PSG vs Sociedad whitethorn person nan quality of a David vs Goliath conflict but nan LaLiga broadside person unit that should origin a fewer problems.

Zubimendi has been described arsenic nan caller Sergio Busquets for his expertise to power nan tempo of a lucifer from midfield.

Reports propose Arsenal leader Mikel Arteta likes nan look of nan 25-year-old arsenic a replacement for Thomas Partey.

Martin Zubimendi is drafting plentifulness of admirers arsenic Real Sociedad hole to look PSG


PSV Eindhoven

De Jong is hardly a caller look but you'd beryllium difficult pressed to find a much in-form subordinate than nan PSV striker and skipper heading into nan last-16.

He has 9 goals successful his past 8 outings successful each competitions and is particularly adept erstwhile it comes to headed goals, pinch 12 of his 26 this play coming aerially.

Dortmund person looked susceptible defensively astatine times this play and PSV, who person a commanding 10 constituent lead astatine nan apical of nan Eredivisie, will fancy their chances arsenic underdogs.

Luuk de Jong (left) fires location for PSV Eindhoven against rivals Ajax earlier this month



Not that Pepe requires immoderate preamble it's much that galore fans will beryllium astonished he's still going strong.

The Porto defender will beryllium 41 by nan conclusion of their necktie pinch Arsenal and while niggly injuries guarantee he's successful and retired of their side, he does look regularly successful nan Champions League - a trophy he's lifted 3 times.

If fit, he'll relish nan opportunity to rile up Arsenal but needs to cognize erstwhile to rein it in. Pepe was sent disconnected for nan 16th clip successful his profession against Sporting Lisbon backmost successful December for throwing an limb into an opponent's face.

Pepe is still going beardown astatine nan property of 40 arsenic Porto hole to return connected Arsenal successful nan last-16 


Inter Milan

Barely a week has passed this play without Calhanoglu making nan headlines and nan Turkish world is regarded arsenic Serie A's champion midfielder by many.

Not only does he people goals - 11 this play - but his defence-splitting passes merit a highlights reel of their own.

In nan caller 1-0 triumph complete Juventus, Calhanoglu played 1 outrageous walk pinch nan precision of a golfer chipping onto nan green.

Hakan Calhanoglu is enjoying a superb play for Serie A leaders Inter Milan 


Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund whitethorn person added Jadon Sancho into their Champions League squad up of playing PSV but he's not their only English winger.

Bynoe-Gittens, 19, has been starting much and much games for Edin Terzic's broadside arsenic nan play has progressed and has already faced nan likes of PSG and AC Milan successful nan competition.

He impresses successful one-on-one situations successful wide areas and has an extremity product, pinch 2 goals and six assists this season.

Exciting English winger Jamie Bynoe-Gittens takes connected nan Freiburg defence for Dortmund

Belgian wonderkid Vermeeren is settling into life astatine Atletico Madrid aft his January move


Atletico Madrid

It was partially nan Belgian teenager's Champions League performances - including a extremity successful a 3-2 triumph complete Barcelona - that persuaded Atletico Madrid to motion Vermeeren past month.

Regarded arsenic 1 of nan brightest up-and-coming talents successful nan game, Vermeeren, 19, will surely person immoderate engagement successful nan necktie pinch Inter Milan.

He picked nan Spanish nine for nan adjacent shape of his improvement having been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Man United.