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Champions League last 16 draw - who are the winners and losers?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 5,264

Pin Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Cristiano Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid Borussia Dortmund Cristiano Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane UEFA Champions League

Champions League last 16 draw - who are the winners and losers?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 5,264

Arsenal and Paris-St Germain are among the teams who could have benefited from a little more luck in the last 16 draw but Real Madrid and Juventus will be pleased with their outcomes.

There are some intriguing ties in the Champions League knockout rounds with the competition whittled down to 16 teams from only six countries. Arsenal have been handed the toughest possible tie from those available to them - against Bayern Munich - while Real Madrid's seemingly endless luck stretches into 2017 with a draw against Napoli. Barcelona will take on PSG - a team against whom they have enjoyed recent success - while 2015 finalists Juventus head to Portugal to meet Porto.Pep Guardiola's Manchester City will take on free-scoring Monaco with plenty of question marks over their defence while English champions Leicester City meet Sevilla in a tie which on paper looks like a good battle. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, take on Bayer Leverkusen with Borussia Dortmund meeting Benfica. Here we weigh up who got the best and worst ties in the knockout rounds. 


Zinedine Zidane is gaining a reputation as a lucky general and Real Madrid's draw for the last 16 does nothing to counteract that assertion. By finishing second in the group behind Borussia Dortmund, the 11-times champions were able to avoid Paris St-Germain, Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the knockouts. And not only did they put themselves in a position where they could dodge the best teams in the second pot but they managed to avoid the most fearsome group winners into the bargain.

By drawing Napoli - albeit away from home in the second leg - Real have done about as well as could be hoped for. Napoli have been maddeningly inconsistent in the Champions League so far and do not possess the experience of going deep regularly in this competition. Real made light work of Roma and Wolfsburg in the early knockout stages last season and would appear to be too good on their day for all but the very best Europe has to offer. Los Blancos went all the way to the title last season - greatly aided by a gentle draw - and the set-up looks familiar this time around too. Zidane has done it again. 


Porto signposted their potential in this season's Champions League with a 5-0 matchday 6 win against English champions Leicester City even if they were assisted by the fact that the Foxes had already secured their qualification. In truth, their campaign to that point had been modest. A couple of wins over Club Brugge papered over the cracks and gave Porto the platform to qualify. All they needed was one more win which came against Leicester. They have moved into good form as the season has progressed but this is not a vintage Porto team even if it is adorned with the promising striker Andre Silva.

To that extent Juventus will be licking their lips at their draw for the last 16. It was tough going at times in the group against Lyon and particularly Sevilla but Massimilliano Allegri's team did just enough to see off their rivals. There is a good argument to be made that Porto are no better than any of the teams Juve beat in the groups. Last season they were given a nightmare draw with Bayern in the last 16 which limited their chances of impressing on the continental stage. This time around the 2015 finalists should be able to give a better account of themselves. 


If you think Monaco is an easy draw for Premier League heavyweights Manchester City then recall how they put out Arsenal just a couple of seasons ago and eliminated Tottenham Hotspur in the group stages this time around. Leonardo Jardim's side are electrifying going forward and will provide the sternest of tests for a City side who cannot seem to keep a clean sheet. Monaco have scored 53 goals in Ligue 1 this season in only 17 games - with nine more coming in the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola's side are struggling for any sort of defensive consistency at the moment with seven goals conceded in only their last two Premier League games. Furthermore there are question marks over Guardiola's ability to put a run together with only four wins coming in City's last 15 games in all competitions. Their troubles at the back - if not rectified in the January transfer window - could still be plaguing them in the new year by which time Monaco will be fully ready to take advantage. Thomas Lemar, Valere Germain, Radamel Falcao and Bernardo Silva are among the best performing players in French football at the moment and will be ready to capitalise on any City slips. 


Even when finishing top of the group, Arsenal cannot seem to catch a break in the Champions League knockout rounds. It could have been Benfica, Bayer Leverkusen, Porto or Sevilla - teams Arsenal realistically would expect to beat over two legs - but instead they've been handed another horror draw. After being eliminated by Bayern Munich in 2013 and 2014 in the last 16, the Gunners face a stern examination yet again at the hands of the German record champions. They were the sharks lurking in the second pot and Arsenal could not avoid them.

Their hard work in finishing top ahead of Paris St-Germain would appear to be in vain. Carlo Ancelotti's side have been down on their usual standards at times in the Champions League this season but would expect to be in full form by the time the knockout rounds commence. They have the know-how at this stage of the competition while Arsenal have been eliminated at this stage of the competition for six seasons running. It would take a remarkable turnaround to avoid a seventh. 


How expensive that matchday six draw at the Parc des Princes against Ludogorets looks now. PSG embarrassed themselves by scraping a 2-2 draw against the Bulgarians and have been punished to the maximum. These are uncertain days in the reign of Unai Emery with his side off the pace in the Ligue 1 race and the Spaniard is facing plenty of questions over his suitability for the role. While Edinson Cavani is enjoying a remarkable run in front of goal, PSG's other expensive imports are simply not pulling their weight.

The last thing they need is a two-legged tie against Barcelona with the return leg being at Camp Nou. PSG have had trouble exerting themselves in the biggest European games - flopping as they did against Manchester City last season - and suffering quarter final defeats against Barcelona and Chelsea in the seasons before. They seem to be running into a brick wall when coming up against Barca and there is nothing in their play this season which suggests they are capable of surmounting it. It could be back to the drawing board for the Qataris' hugely expensive PSG project. Dream Bigger? Dream on. 


Last season's finalists Atletico Madrid are not in the Champions League to make up the numbers. Diego Simeone's side have as good a chance as any to win the competition. Although their style of football may not attract many neutrals, they have a winning formula especially for two-legged knockout ties. They eliminated Bayern Munich last season in the semi-finals and also have history against Leverkusen.

They beat them on penalties in a tight last 16 draw two seasons ago but saw their challenge ended by Real Madrid at the quarter-final stage. This season they have the joint-best defensive record having conceded only two goals in the entire group stage and will be expecting to dominate against the Germans in the last 16. Roger Schmidt's side were inconsistent in the group stage - winning only twice and drawing four - and do not have the individual talent nor collective strength to end Atleti's charge. 



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