Champions League Round of 16 Draw & Analysis

Today was the draw phase of the UEFA Champions League for the round of 16 and there has been many interesting and difficult draws that have taken, most noticeably the current holders of the UEFA Champions League Real Madrid finished second in their group thus potentially making those who finished first in their group have a harder fixture.

Participants, Seeding & Draw Rules

Group winners Barcelona, Besiktas, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma, Tottenham Hotspur are joined by group runner ups Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Basel, Porto, Juventus, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk.

Two seeding pots will be formed: one consisting of group winners and the other of runners-up. No football club can play a team from their Champions League group or any team from their own country.

Group winners will play away in the round of 16 first legs on the 13/14 & the 20/21 February and play at home in the second matches on 6/7 & the 13/14 March.

 

Champions League Round of 16 Fixtures & Analysis

Juventus vs. Tottenham (13 February and 7 March)

Juventus finished as runners up last year and were one of the more difficult teams from the second seeding meanwhile Tottenham finished first in a group with Real Madrid including a decisive victory over the former champions. This game will be a clash of styles as defensively Juventus are one of the strongest if not the strongest teams in Europe in regards to defense, whereas Tottenham operate with a very attacking focus which includes wingers playing very far up the field along with one of Europe’s best strikers Harry Kane upfront. Juventus on the other hand have some of Europe’s best defenders alongside Gianluigi Buffon in goal & the rising star Paulo Dybala upfront, due to the range of world class talent in Juventus’ current squad I think they are going to come out with a win.

Basel vs. Manchester City (13 February and 7 March)

Basel were looking unlikely to reach the round of 16 but due to an excellent 1-0 victory vs Manchester United managed to qualifying. Manchester City on the other-hand had a very comfortable time qualifying in first place of their group but had a disastrous final game losing to Shakhtar Donetsk which may harm their momentum. Despite Basel being on form it is looking likely that the sheer talent and squad depth in Man City will prove decisive and they should win this with few issues.

Porto vs. Liverpool (14 February and 6 March)

The Premier League was out in full force with Liverpool also qualifying and they qualified in style with two 7-0 victories. Liverpool however also drew 3 times in the group stages whereas Porto were very commanding with two victories over the Ligue 1 champions. Liverpool do however have a very strong squad featuring star men Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane who are world class talents alongside Mo Salah who is having a very good season and is quickly becoming one of Europe’s best strikers across all of the major European leagues. This star power should be decisive and allow Liverpool to easily brush aside Porto and make it into the next round.

Sevilla vs. Manchester United (21 February and 13 March)

Sevilla are regarded as the kings of the Europa League however there are questions as to whether they can continue their run of success from the Europa League into the Champions League, Sevilla have a strong team including Banega who almost single handed turned around the scoreline at Liverpool where they came back from 0-3 down. Manchester United on the other hand won their opening four games with few issues and despite losing in their 5th fixture they came back strong in their final fixture. With Paul Pogba now being fully fit and ready to show the world what he is made off. Manchester United should win this game but Sevilla should never be counted out despite being overshadowed by Barcelona, Real Madrid & Athletico Madrid they field a very strong squad both defensively and offensively and could beat any of Europe’s top teams if it is their day!

Real Madrid vs. PSG (14 February and 6 March)

PSG has a difficult group to get to this stage which included Bayern Munich, Celtic & Anderlecht but they showed their world class status by scoring 25 goals in 6 games their game included a 3-0 win against Bayern along with a 1-3 defeat against them showing that they are on-par with other top European teams. Real Madrid are the current holders of the UEFA Champions League and despite their lackluster form in both the Spanish La Liga & the UEFA Champions League they must not be overlooked, they are the current champions and arguable the best team in Europe featuring world class talent. This match will showcase Christiano Ronaldo vs Neymar Jr. which football fans all around the world will love to see, these are 2 of the best players in the world of football if PSG manage to beat Real Madrid they could easily ride the momentum and win the whole Champions League but I believe Real Madrid will win, the PSG squad are not always united as one and often play on different pages to each other and Christiano Ronaldo is famous for excellent displays when they are required in the UEFA Champions League!

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Roma (21 February and 13 March)

Many were surprised to see Shakhtar Donetsk reach the round of 16 as they were in the same group as Man City, Napoli & Feyenoord but they had a shock win over Napoli in their opening game and never let go off their qualifying spot. The Russian side lack world class players but Facundo Ferreyra could be a dark horse in this match, so far this season he has scored 20 goals and could easily add to this tally vs Roma. Roma on the other hand were in a group with Chelsea & Atletico Madrid but managed to get through the group with an amazing display with a 3-0 win over Chelsea and knocking Athletic Madrid out, their key man is Radja Nainggolan who is one of the worlds best holding midfielders who is also an excellent attacker. If Shakhtar manage to play like they did vs Napoli & Man City then they could potentially win this but Roma should be the favourites to win, they are much more experienced in the UEFA Champions League and have a better squad to boot.

Chelsea vs. Barcelona (20 February and 14 March)

The Chelsea – Barcelona fixture is going to be the most eagerly watched and closest fixture of the whole round of 16, both teams are filled to the brim of world class talent and are both in the top 3 of the two biggest football leagues in the world. Chelsea struggled towards the end of the group stages and this could be vital but their fortunes can easily be overturned by their star striker Alvaro Morata who can produce a goal out of nothing. Barcelona had a very strong showing in their group and have been unstoppable in the Spanish league and have star players like Lionel Messi & Gerald Pique who are possibly the best players of their position in the world. Barcelona should just come out as winners from this with a scoreline similar to 2-1 or 1-0 it will not be an easily win for Barcelona!

Bayern Munich vs. Besiktas (20 February and 14 March)

Bayern Munich have drawn quite an easy fixture considering they were in the second pool of teams, this fixture is one that they will not lose sleep over but it is important that they do not overlook their opponents, Besiktas despite their lack of quality have excellent team play and this proved decisive in a group with Porto, Monaco and RB Leipzig. Bayern Munich will bring their #9 Robert Lewandowski who is regarded as one of the best if not the best #9 strikers in not only Germany but the entire world. Besiktas have their own star striker Cenk Tosun who scored 4 goals in the group stages and 12 across all competitions, he was vital for them winning the group and may cause Bayern Munich a lot of issues at the back. Bayern Munich are heavy favourites to win this fixture, they have been very strong all season long and have been runners up in the Champions League just 4 years ago, they will be looking to regain their former glory and become Champions of Europa alongside Champions of Germany.

 

You will be able to get live score updates & match results of all of the games in the UEFA Champions League in our Champions League Results page, you will also be able to find the past results of the Champions League on the same page if you need to catch up!

About Ashley Stark

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