This Article Contains All the Information Related to the Uefa Champions League Draw of Round of 16. It Includes Details of All the Matches and Predictions.
The Redraw and the debate surrounding the initial draw
Paris Saint-Germain should have difficultly winning the Champions League after being drawn with Real Madrid in the redrawn round of 16 on Monday after a program erred the first draw – in which PSG was paired with Manchester United – stood canceled by UEFA.
PSG, still trying to win their first Champions League will play 13-time winners Real Madrid over two legs upcoming February and March in the round’s tie.
And though the second drawled to them avoiding a battle with Mauricio Pochettino’s PSG and a match-up between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, United performed slightly better in the redraw, with Spanish champions Atletico Madrid for the first matchup between the two clubs in the competition.
Whereas PSG vs. Real and Atletico vs Man. United stood out as the most attractive tie of the round of 16, it was Liverpool whose game with Inter Milan is a harder task for Jurgen Klopp’s squad than their previous draw with FC Salzburg.
With the argument surrounding the draw that was canceled and decided by the second draw, the leading clubs to win the Champions League this season can now start planning their ways to the final in Saint Petersburg on May 28, 2022.
There can be a lot of difference between now and February when the Champions League restarts but with a round of 16 matches scheduled, it will be interesting to note which clubs will reach the quarterfinals.
Fc Salzburg Vs. Bayern Munich
It was never going to be easy for Australian League winners Salzburg after having saved themselves from a matchup against Liverpool due to the canceled first draw, they had to face Bayern Munich.
After finishing as Group G runners-up and first-timers in a round of 16, Salzburg will be the underdogs against the German champions who reached the knockouts with six out of six wins in their group stage.
It will be interesting to note in 19-year-old Munich-born forward, Karim Adeyemi, who has scored four goals till now in the tournament for Salzburg, and also the midfielder from the U.S., Brenden Aaronson who has played in every match of the UCL this season for Salzburg.
It would be the greatest upset of the competition if Salzburg managed to knockout Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern which were considered favorites to win the cup this season even before the draw was made.
Sporting Cp Vs. Manchester City
Ruben Amorin’s team has outperformed expectations by denying Borussia Dortmund the runners-up spot behind Ajax in Group C and reaching this stage. However, it is most likely that they will be easily defeated by City who will utilize the defensive issues that the Portuguese club has.
Sporting has given 9 goals in two games against Ajax, something that City will be keeping an eye on considering attacking prowess. There does not seem to be any issues for Pep Guardiola’s side and this match-up will favor City.
Ajax Vs. Benfica
It will be an interesting match-up between Erik Ten Hag’s Ajax and Jorge Jesus’ Benfica which crushed Barcelona in the group stage fixture. Having won all six games in Group C, Ajax will be the favorites in this tie to reach the quarterfinals despite Benfica being determined and well-assembled of winning themselves.
Benfica has experience in the form of Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi, Joao Mario, and Rafa Silva, all of whom could be potential starters against Ajax. Striker Darwin Nunez is also a key player to look out for. Ajax also has enough experience on their side with players like Daley Blind, Davy Klaassen, and Dusan Tadic.
Sebastian Haller, who is this season’s leading scorer in the Champions League with 10 goals to his name will provide a stiff test to Benfica’s defense.
Chelsea vs Lille
Having finished as runners-up in Group H behind Juventus Chelsea could have tied with Bayern, Real Madrid, or even Ajax in their Round of 16. However, it was their luck that in both draws they were tied with French Champions Lille, whom Thomas Tuchel’s side will be expected to see through.
Jocelyn Gourvennec’s Lille were group winners even after losing coach Christophe Galtier to Marseille and last season’s Ligue 1 title win, this season has been difficult for them. However, their best performances have come in the Champions League.
Canada Striker Jonathan David has struck the net 3 times in six group stage matches for Lille whereas U.S. international Timothy Weah has played in four games.
Considering Chelsea’s experience and quality they are likely to go through and win this tie.
Manchester United Vs. Atletico Madrid
These two heavyweights of Europe have faced each other just once before in UEFA competition where Atletico beat United 4-1 over both legs in European Cup Winners’ Cup second round in November 1991.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico has made a slow start to the Spanish title defense and is currently placed at fourth place in La Liga, 13 points behind leaders Real Madrid. They qualified on the sixth matchday by winning against Porto which placed them on the second of Group B from the bottom, just behind Liverpool.
This clash is unpredictable since Atletico can hurt United if the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez, and Joao Felix perform. But after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, United will also be tough opponents with interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the helm.
They have stars in attack with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, and the flair of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes but they have their defensive woes.
It will be an interesting battle between the goalkeepers, Atleti’s Jan Oblak, and United’s David De Gea, who will face his former club for the first time after making a switch to Old Trafford in 2011. If Rangnick can click United between now and February, United can go through in this close tie.
Villareal Vs Juventus
Villareal were the champions of the Europa League last season after beating Manchester United in the penalty shootout which earned them a UCL spot. Despite not being so consistent, Unai Emery’s Villareal is a well-drilled side and will provide a tough challenge to Juventus, a team that has struggled for form so far in this season.
After being defeated by Chelsea at Stamford bridge in their group stage and settling for 1-0 wins against Malmo and Zenit, Juventus were the winners of Group H. Massimiliano Allegri has the better squad with players like Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata, Moise Kean and Federico Chiesa.
This will be a tough match-up and could go to the penalties with Villareal going through.
Inter Milan Vs Liverpool
With six out of six group stage wins for Liverpool they topped Group B. But the 2019 winners can have a tough time at San Siro against Inter.
Jurgen Klopp’s team will be favorites against Simone Inzaghi’s Inter. However, Inter has more quality than AC Milan who faced Liverpool in the group stage. With players like Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko upfront and veterans in midfield like Nicolo Barella, Arturo Vidal, and Marcelo Brozovic and one of the best European keepers in the form of Samir Handanovic.
Injuries could hurt Liverpool before the tie. But currently, it seems like Liverpool will prevail in this tie considering their depth.
Paris Saint-Germain Vs. Real Madrid
This will be the tie which neither club wanted this early in the competition after PSG finished runners-up in Group A behind Manchester City.
It will be a mouth-watering clash between the two sides. With Real Madrid depending on the experience of players like Karim Benzema and Luka Modric versus a PSG side that boasts of the most formidable attacking force in the game with the trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe upfront.
It will be an emotional reunion for club legend Sergio Ramos with Real manager Carlo Ancelotti who both enjoyed success previously with each other. Players like Angel Di Maria and Keylor Navas will also face their former club.
The last time these sides met, PSG won 3-0 in the 2019-20 group stage. This will be a close tie because both sides have weaknesses that can be exploited against each other. It will depend on which team has the best form during the time but considering the attack depth that PSG has, it makes them favorites to go through.