The 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League has started fully, and 16 teams have already left the prestigious European tournament.
Many teams endured a torrid campaign during this season’s Champions League group stages. These included current defending champions Real Madrid.
The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draws were drawn on December 16.
The Champions League round of 16 draws were as follows:
- Schalke v Manchester City
- Atlético Madrid v Juventus
- Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain
- Tottenham Hotspur v Borussia Dortmund
- Lyon v Barcelona
- Roma v Porto
- Ajax v Real Madrid
- Liverpool v Bayern München.
Not many clubs will be satisfied with the teams they were paired with, while some others will be overjoyed. Hence, we will look at the winners and losers of the draws.
1. Manchester City
Manchester City arguably has the easiest draws in the round of 16. Even though the group stage wasn’t as smooth as many expected, they did get the result. A draw with Schalke 04 will definitely make Pep Guardiola and his boys overjoyed.
They played a similar team in Hoffeinheim during their Champions League group stages and came out victorious. Manchester City is definitely looking set to go through to the last 8.
2. FC Barcelona
Barcelona hadn’t gone beyond the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League since 2015 when they won it. Lionel Messi has clearly stated that this season, he is out to win the tournament.
With that goal in view, drawing Lyon will be good for them. They have always had tough draws at this stage of the tournament, and Lyon is reasonably better. Lyon with all respect is not a bad team; they defeated Manchester City remember. This is one tricky fixture, but overall Barcelona will be happy with the draw.
3. FC Porto
FC Porto surprisingly drew AS Roma after finishing top of their group with aplomb. They put in an amazing display to finish top for the first time in years.
However finishing first wasn’t still easy for them, because many top European teams finished second in their groups, like Athletico Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester United. They would have drawn any of them, but no. They drew with AS Roma which is arguably preferable. AS Roma are no pushovers, especially after they defeated Barcelona last season. But FC Porto will stand a fight chance with this team. In fact, Porto overcame Roma 4-1 on aggregate in last season’s playoffs.
4. Real Madrid
This has been such a horrible season for the defending champions. Having lost twice already in their group game, they barely managed to top the group.
However, Solari will be happy that he was drawn with Ajax.
1. Manchester United
Jose Mourinho isn’t finding life at Old Trafford easy at all. His barely managed to qualify for the round of 16, and now he has bee WV handed his worst imaginable draw. Paris Saint Germain are in unstoppable form and boosts of quality players. On the other hand, Manchester United’s defensive display has been shambolic.
It is one match that will offer loads of excitement, but Manchester United won’t be looking forward to it with joy.
Liverpool were last season’s finalists, and that was rightly deserved. However, along the way to their final qualification, they never encountered very stiff opposition. Bayern Munich is a stiff opposition. They comfortably qualified top of their group and are in top form in the Champions League.
This match might seem like an evenly matched encounter to a neutral, but Liverpool won’t be glad they got that draw.
Juventus are ready to challenge for a Champions League crown after reaching the final twice in 3 years. They showed their readiness by signing Cristiano Ronaldo. They won their group with top marks. But Massimiliano Allegri will not be too happy with his draw.
Athletico Madrid is a tough team. They are hard to beat and boost if good defensive record. Even though they faltered in their group, they are unpredictable. Athletico Madrid is also good against Italian opposition. This is evident with the fact that Atlético is unbeaten in their last nine matches against Italian clubs winning 7 and drawing 2.
So who do you think will qualify from each game?
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