The UEFA Champions League draw sparked overlapping confrontations, including Liverpool’s confrontation with Real Madrid in Paris Saint-Germain’s confrontation with Bayern Munich in the round of sixteen at the European Football House in Nyon, Switzerland, on Monday.
Liverpool will have a chance to avenge last season’s Champions League final loss at the hands of Real Madrid.
Liverpool won five of their six group matches but missed out on top spot against Napoli after losing 4-1 when the two sides met in Italy.
Anfield also lost the 2018 Champions League Final to Real, who won their group ahead of RB Leipzig.
“They are two historic teams and the confrontation will be intense and will be great for the fans,” said Emilio Butragueno, a great former Real player and director of institutional relations for the 14-time European champions.
And the current domestic level indicates that Real should be the favourite, as coach Carlo Ancelotti’s team did not lose in the Spanish League, while Liverpool ranks eighth in the English Premier League, despite its victory away from home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
However, both clubs would lose key players to F.C Globalism Trophy and Butragueno admitted that a lot could change in the three months leading up to the return of the Champions League.
“The World Cup will affect the whole season. We’ll see how the players are when they come back.”
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain’s draw against Bayern Munich occurred in a repeat of the 2020 final, which the German club won.
PSG missed out on top of their group because Benfica scored more away goals in all matches after the two teams finished remarkably level on points, goal difference and goals scored head-to-head.
That left the Qatar-owned club vulnerable to a tough draw, a year after they were agonizingly exited in the first knockout round at the hands of Real Madrid.
In terms of form, they could not have been tougher than Bayern, who were the only team to win all six group matches, despite being in a division with Barcelona and Inter Milan.
The 2020 final was played behind closed doors in Lisbon at the height of the pandemic, with Bayern emerging victorious 1-0. Paris Saint-Germain took revenge the following season by defeating the Bavarians in the quarter-finals.
bring it! 👊
Like PSG, Manchester City have never won the title but are also one of the frontrunners to do so this season.
It is expected that coach Pep Guardiola’s team will get rid of Leipzig, which it faced in the group stage a year ago and won 6-3 at home before losing 2-1 in Germany, and at that time the team had already secured first place in the division.
Chelsea, who defeated City in the 2021 Champions League final, also attracted German competition in the form of Borussia Dortmund, with the clubs set to meet for the first time in a competitive first-leg match at Signal Iduna Park.
After topping their group thanks to a last-gasp winner away at Marseille last week, Tottenham Hotspur got a tight draw against Italian champions AC Milan.
They’ve met at this stage of the competition before, with Tottenham winning 1-0 on aggregate in 2010/11 thanks to a lone goal at the San Siro by Peter Crouch.
Inter will play with Porto and Eintracht Frankfurt, who won the Europa League title last season against Napoli, while Benfica’s reward for winning its group was a confrontation against the Belgian club Bruges.
The first round of 16 matches will be played in February, and the return matches will be played in March.
The Champions League final this season will be held in Istanbul on June 10 next year.
The Turkish city was supposed to host the final in 2020 and again in 2021, only for the match to be moved on each occasion to Portugal due to the pandemic.
Here are the matches of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League –
Leipzig against Manchester City
Club Brugge vs Benfica
Liverpool and Real Madrid match
Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur
Frankfurt vs Napoli
Borussia Dortmund x Chelsea
Inter Milan vs Porto
Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich
(With input from agencies)
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