Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Champions League 2017-18 last-16 draw

There will be some really exciting clashes in the last-16 of this season’s Champions League:

  • Tottenham-Juventus: The English were the surprise by winning their group ahead of Real Madrid, but have at the same time not been too steady in their league. They are now facing another of the great teams of Europe, and will have to play their best. Juventus has not looked as impressive as in the previous season, but will surely not forgive any mistakes by Tottenham.
  • Basel-Manchester City: Basel finished second in their group by defeating the other Manchester team, United, in Switzerland. But over two matches they are surely the underdogs against a Manchester City side that remains among the favourites for the title.
  • Porto-Liverpool: The undefeated English side will be favourites against a Portuguese side that is nevertheless no pushover. That said, Porto was not as impressive in the group stages, only passing by hapless Monaco and an inexperienced Leipzig. Liverpool must be happy and expecting a quarterfinal, which may prove their weakness.
  • Sevilla-Manchester United: Sevilla could not get past Liverpool in the group stages, and the Spanish side are a shadow of their past years’ Europa League side. In the meantime Mourinho is creating a powerful Manchester United side that is likely to move past Sevilla.
  • Paris St. Germain-Real Madrid: Surely the most awaited match of the last-16 as the defending champions are facing one of the new top contenders for the title. While Real Madrid has been looking in a slight crisis in both la liga and in the CL, PSG has been cruising through both the French league and the CL (most scoring team, and only once to Bayern Munich). This clash will nevertheless be a big test for the French side: can they defeat the champions? Can Neymar outshine Ronaldo...?
  • Shakhtar Donetsk-Roma: The Ukranians made it after a last match victory against Manchester City, ahead of the Italian favourites from Napoli, who probably underestimated Shakhtar throughout. Roma should not underestimate them, but will probably also be considered favourites to make it to the quarterfinals.
  • Chelsea-Barcelona: This encounter is a neo-classic clash of the Champions League, as these sides have faced one another in some memorable encounters, and this promises to be another. Barcelona have been awesome, while Chelsea can mostly blame themselves for not having won the group, and now faci g the toughest rival of them all.
  • Bayern Munich-Besiktas: Bayern Munich did not win their group but ended behind PSG which is always a disappointment for the Germans. That said, they will be happy for the draw, as Besiktas are probably the most underrated side left in the competition, despite them winning their group undefeated (but what many consider a weak group), and with experienced players. That said, Bayern Munich must surely be considered favourites.
Cannot wait for the knock-outs to begin!

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