Champions League Round of 16 Draw – First Thoughts

The Champions League round of 16 draw has taken place and it has thrown up eight intriguing fixtures for the next round of the competition.

Following the conclusion of the group stages last week, the 16 teams consisting of three from the Premier League, three from Serie A, four from La Liga, four from the Bundesliga and one each from Ligue 1 and Portugal’s Liga NOS.

With eight fixtures made that will undoubtedly bring intrigue, drama and quality football, lets take a look at the draw and make some quick predictions.

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The best game of the draw is undoubtedly the current La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid coming up against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side.

Diego Simeone’s side have been in great form this season domestically, although in Europe they only managed to seal qualification on the final match day. Defensively we already know what to expect from Los Rojiblancos, but going forward they’ve been more adventurous this season. Joao Felix has been in great form and with Luis Suarez up front now, his quality is still evident even though physically he isn’t what he once was.

Chelsea have a deep squad but have struggled against the better sides so far this season when it comes to scoring goals. Defensively they have been much better though so a tight affair is likely to ensue.

In a more attacking game elsewhere in the draw, Neymar returns to the Camp Nou as PSG will take on Barcelona.

The Parisians came out on top in the ‘group of death’, toppling RB Leipzig and Manchester United and will take on Barcelona, who lost top spot thanks to a final matchday mauling from Juventus at home.

Both teams have struggled this season, but Barcelona more so. Lionel Messi has failed to hit his usual standards after his summer transfer saga and it has hit the Catalan side hard. They’ve struggled to score goals at their usual rate, while defensively they are more open than ever before in recent memory.

Manchester City will take on Gladbach, who qualified ahead of Inter Milan, while Liverpool will take on RB Leipzig who defeated Manchester United on the final match day to qualify ahead of them.

Keep an eye out for our previews and predictions for each individual game soon and then again closer to game day in February when we form and injuries are more known.

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