This Monday, Nion was the center of the world, because there happened the biggest event that day. The Champions League draws for the Round of 16 knock-out stage.
This is how the schedule looks like.
Derby of the Round of 16 will definitely be a match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich. In the recent years, these two teams played a lot of games, and 4 of them were in the knock-out stages, in the seasons 2013 and 2014 both times in Round of 16. Bayern is slightly better and has two wins, one loss, and a draw. Both times the Germans advanced to the next stage.
Ludogorec will be remembered for quite some time in Paris because of a draw against them, sent Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona in the first round of Champions League Knock-out stage. The Saints will be playing their first match at Parc des Princes. We still remember how Barcelona’s striker Luis Suarez, demolished PSG defense two years ago when Barca won in semi-finals.
The defending champions, Real Madrid will play against Napoli and the first game will take place at Santiago Bernabeu. Napoli’s coach Maurizio Sarri was wishing Real Madrid, before the draw, now he got what he wanted. Napoli would have an advantage because game two will be played at San Paolo stadium. The last meeting these two teams had was in 1988 when Real eliminated Napoli along with Maradona, also in the Round of 16.
Last year finalist Atletico de Madrid will face Bayer Leverkusen, in what seems to be an interesting duel, where many see Atletico as absolute favorites. Last spring this was also a duel in this stage of Champions League, and Atletico went trough after penalties, and we might say with a lot of luck
Monaco will have a home-court advantage against Manchester City, and in this match, we could expect a lot of goals. Monaco is in excellent shape and City is one of the highest scoring teams in past few years, and when Guardiola is beside the pitch, there is just attack, attack, and attack.
Italian champions Juventus will play against Porto, and this promises to be the hard and tough matchup, where we will be able to see two of most iconic goalkeepers of our time, Gianluigi Buffon, and Iker Casillas.
Leicester will play against Sevilla, who are after a long time again in the knock-out stage of the Champions League. Leicester will try to repeat Nottingham Forrest miracle from some thirty years ago, when boys from the Nottingham won Champions Cup after winning their first English championship.
Borussia Dortmund will play against two-time winners of this competition Benfica, and here we might expect a lot of goals. Thomas Tuchel will try to reach Jurgen Klopp and his success, and maybe even in some crazy outcome, win this year’s Champions League.
We are in the phase when one mistake might ruin your whole season. Luck is a vital part of success now, and best teams aren’t favorites from now on. Everybody has equal chances, despite what bookmakers are saying. We saw some surprises in recent years, who would have thought that Liverpool in 2005 or Porto year before would win Champions League?
Real Madrid is the current holder of the trophy. Will he defend that title?
We don’t know, this is Champions League, and anything is possible.
Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid vs. Napoli
Manchester City vs. Monaco
Sevilla vs. Leicester City
Porto vs. Juventus
Benfica vs. Borussia Dortmund