After the sixth and final round of the UCL group games were played, the boys got separated from the men. The knockout stages will not resume until next year February. And while we’re anticipating it, things will get even more interesting this week, with teams set to be drawn against each other.
From 32 teams that started out the race, the list has been reduced to 16, with the following names making the cut:
- Borussia Dortmund (Group Winners)
- Atletico Madrid (Runners-up)
- Barcelona (Group Winners)
- Tottenham (Runners-up)
- PSG (Group Winners)
- Liverpool (Runners-up)
- FC Porto (Group Winners)
- Schalke (Runners-up)
- Bayern Munich (Group Winners)
- Ajax (Runners-up)
- Manchester City (Group Winners)
- Lyon (Runners-up)
- Real Madrid (Group Winners)
- AS Roma (Runners-up)
- Juventus (Group Winners)
- Manchester United (Runners-up)
Certain groups were more fiercely contested than the others. Tottenham had to wait till the last minute to qualify. The same happened to Liverpool too. But all of that is in the past now. Next up in the competition is the draws that will determine who will face who.
And with the caliber of teams that have qualified (and how they qualified), the fixtures for the knockout stages will be mouth-watering. While the runners-up will be facing the group winners, there are some exceptions for the next stage.
The four English teams (Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham) that made it to the next round cannot play against each other. The same rule applies to the other leagues that have two or more representatives in the Round of 16.
With these rules in mind, the following are some of the possible fixtures we can look forward to:
- Manchester City vs. Atletico Madrid: The Citizens are one of the bookies favorites to win the Champions League. It will be fun to see how Pep Guardiola fares against this Atleti side that is notorious for having a solid defense
- Bayern Munich vs. Manchester United: Both sides have clashed in the past in the knockout stages of the UCL. And it has always featured fireworks. Both sides are struggling in their respective leagues and will want to go as far as possible
- Juventus vs. Lyon: This kind of match-up is the one that interests fans because of how unpredictable it is
- Liverpool vs. Porto: The Reds reached the final of the UCL last season. Porto is one of the few sides that went the group stages unbeaten. It will be fun to see how both sides fare in a game with qualification at stake
- PSG vs. Schalke: One of the highest scoring sides versus one of the least scoring sides in the competition this season.
The possibilities are endless. But we have to wait until after Monday to know who will play against who. What do you think? Leave us your comments and share your thoughts with us.