With the UEFA Champions League round of 16 line-ups now complete, we take a look at the contenders ahead of Monday’s draw.
Group winners: Manchester United (ENG), Paris (FRA), Roma (ITA), Barcelona (ESP), Liverpool (ENG), Manchester City (ENG), Beşiktaş (TUR), Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Group runners-up: Basel (SUI), Bayern München (GER), Chelsea (ENG), Juventus (ITA), Sevilla (ESP), Shakhtar (UKR), Porto (POR), Real Madrid (ESP)
THE GROUP LEADERS:
A: Manchester United:
Manchester United returned to the Champions League thanks to their win in the Europa League. They were considered a good contender in this tournament and the team reflected upon this. They won 5 of their 6 games, losing one to FC Basel. The top scorer was their star striker Romeo Lukaku who netted the ball 4 times.
Can play: Bayern, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar, Porto, Real Madrid
B: Paris Saint-Germain:
PSG showed an emphatic display in the 6 games, winning 5 of them and losing only one to Bayern Munich. The newly built attack of Cavani, Neymar and Mbappe thrashed the opposing defenses as they put the ball behind the net 25 times while conceding only 4. Neymar and Cavani were the joint top scorers-each with 6 goals.
Can play: Basel, Chelsea, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar, Porto, Real Madrid
C: A.S. ROMA:
Roma had a good group stage experience wherein they won 3 games, and notably held Atletico Madrid and Chelsea to a draw while lost to Atletico in their away game. For Roma, the group stage games were never easy but they gained a lot of confidence by overpowering Chelsea in both the legs. The team scored 9 goals with 3 from Džeko and conceded 6.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Sevilla, Shakhtar, Porto, Real Madrid
D: F.C. BARCELONA:
With the new manager in charge, Barcelona started off quite well in the group stage matches wherein they avenged their loss to Juventus last season and won 4 of their 6 games drawing 2 with Juventus and Olympiacos. Barcelona netted the balls 9 times in their oppositions’ nets, 3 of which coming from L.Messi. Barcelona boasts of the best defense in the Europe as they have conceded only once in the 6 games they have played, thanks to their German wall ‘Ter Stegan’. Besides, The Catalans are one of the few teams who have yet not tasted defeat in the Champions League.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Chelsea, Shakhtar, Porto
Liverpool had a mixed experience as they won 3 games while drew 3. Their attack was ruthless as they netted 23 goals with six of them coming from Roberto Firmino. Liverpool can take away a lot of confidence from their last game in the group stages wherein they demolished Spartak with 7 goals to nil, thanks to a hattrick by Coutinho.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Juventus, Shakhtar, Porto, Real Madrid
F: MANCHESTER CITY:
With Pep Guardiola in charge, Manchester City are one ruthless team in the group. Pep has estabilished the kind of football once Barcelona used to play and this season the Pep effect is visible as they sit comfortably atop in their league table and have shown quite a convincing play in the group stage as well, winning 5 of their 6 games losing their last game to Shakhtar. They have scored 14 goals and have conceded just 5. The top scorer is Raheem Sterling with 4 goals.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Juventus, Sevilla, Porto, Real Madrid
Besiktas were not the favorites to top their group but their great footballing spirit and their attack dented the oppositions as they scored 11 in reply to the 4. Cenk Tosun was their top scorer with 4 goals.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Chelsea, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar, Real Madrid
H: Tottenham Hotspur:
The Spurs displayed quite an impressive performance in the group stage games wherein they defeated Dortmund and the title defenders Real Madrid to claim the first spot in their group. They won 5 games and remain unbeaten with 15 goals scored, 6 of which are from Harry Kane and have conceded just 5.
Can play: Basel, Bayern, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar, Porto
Basel pulled up some surprise wins against Manchester United and Benfica as they ended up with 4 wins and 2 losses in their group stage plays. They scored 11 goals and conceded 5, with Dmitri Oberlin as the top scorer.
Can play: Paris, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Beşiktaş, Tottenham Hotspur
B: BAYERN MUNICH:
Bayern Munich are considered one of the favorites to win the trophy this year. The team fared well in the group stage winning 5 games and losing one to PSG. The voracious attack netted 13 goals for them and they conceded 6 goals. Robert Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso were the top scorers with 3 goals each.
Can play: Manchester United, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Beşiktaş, Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea started off quite well, with a thumping 6 goals victory against Quarabag FK in the first match and an exciting victory against Atletico Madrid in the second. Then the team dropped points against Roma in both legs but next wins ensured that they made through the round of 32. They have scored 16 in the process and have conceded 8. Hazard is the top scorer with 3 goals.
Can play: Paris, Barcelona, Beşiktaş
The last year finalists didn’t have the best of the starts to the Champions League as they lost their first game to Barcelona. However, they recovered well in the subsequent matches and ended up second to Barcelona in the group with 7 goals for and 5 against them. Gonzalo Higuaín and Mario Mandžukić were the joint top scorers with 2 goals each.
Can play: Manchester United, Paris, Liverpool, Manchester City, Beşiktaş, Tottenham Hotspur
Sevilla did not have quite a great campaign till now. They have won just 2 of their games and have drawn 3 while had to suffer a thumping 5-1 loss against Spartak. Although they have scored 12 goals in this round, they have conceded the same amount as well making them the team with the lowest goal scored to conceded ratio. Their top scorer is Wissam Ben Yedder with 6 goals.
Can play: Manchester United, Paris, Roma, Manchester City, Beşiktaş, Tottenham Hotspur
F: SHAKHTAR DONETSK:
Shakhtar had a good campaign in the round of 32 wherein they won 4 games but had to suffer loss in of the other games. The team must have gained lots of confidence by defeating Manchester City in the last game. Shakhtar is on the same levels of Sevilla in the goal difference wherein they have scored 9 and conceded the same. The top scorer for them is Bernard .
Can play: Manchester United, Paris, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Beşiktaş, Tottenham Hotspur
G: FC PORTO:
Porto had an average record. They had won 3 games, drawn 1 and lost the other 2. They won both legs against Monaco and that should give them the boost to face their opponents in the round of 16. They scored 15 goals and saw 10 goals in the back of their nets. Vincent Aboubakar scored 5 goals for his team.
Can play: Manchester United, Paris, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur
H: REAL MADRID:
The defending champions started in a great tone winning comfortably against Apoel and Dortmund but Tottenham Hotspur exposed their flaws as they drew with Los Blancos at the Bernabeu and hammered them to a 3-1 loss at home. Los Blancos regained their momentum against Apoel and Dortmund as they ended up second in their group.
Can play: Manchester United, Paris, Roma, Liverpool, Manchester City, Beşiktaş
It was a big surprise to see Atletico Madrid not qualifying for the next round. Simeone’s men were able to win just a single match in the group stages and drew 4 of them. This was not expected from a team which sits 3rd in the league table, above the defending champions. Los Rojiblanco showed poor attack as they were only able to net 5 goals.
Another unexpected exits was of Borrusia Dortmund who failed miserably in this year’s round of 32. The BVB were unable to register even a single win and were just able to draw both legs with Apoel and lost both legs from Real Madrid and Tottenham. Dortmund’s boss Peter Bosz needs to make some serious changes as his team also sits 6th in the league.
Now the draw of 16 will take place at 11am GMT on Monday 11 December at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
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