The draw for this season’s Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League has been made – and actually, it was made twice.
The competition is beginning to heat up as we look ahead to the knockout stage with just 16 clubs left in the running to become the 2022 European champions.
Before wasting any more of your time, we’re going to take a look at the eight fixtures that will be going down in the new year.
PSG vs Real Madrid
Two of Europe’s finest going up against each other sounds like a great prospect, but we actually think it won’t go quite as well for Paris Saint-Germain as many initially believe.
Real Madrid are an absolute force of nature and instead of being made up of superstars with no cohesion, they’re a team. An actual team with a motive, and that should be enough to get them past PSG.
Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
Sporting Lisbon have been on fire all season long both domestically and in the Champions League. In a meeting like this, we don’t think they’ve got any reason whatsoever to take a back step or feel intimidated.
Manchester City are a scary team to go up against in any scenario but Pep Guardiola has always struggled with the Champions League at the Etihad. Put some fear into them early in the first leg and the rest will come.
RB Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
RB Salzburg would’ve been hoping for the most favourable draw imaginable but instead, they’ve had to settle for the kind of two-legged tie that’ll be very difficult to come out of unscathed.
Bayern Munich are once again going to be the favourites to win the whole thing and at this point, we’d be actively surprised if they don’t wipe the floor with the Austrians.
Inter Milan vs Liverpool
Inter Milan are right in the thick of the drama in the Serie A title race once again with the Italian champions proving why they’re one of the most feared sides on the continent.
Liverpool, though, are on the hunt for a seventh European Cup success and based on their recent form, they’re incredibly well-positioned to go all the way.
Chelsea vs Lille
The reigning European champions needed a somewhat favourable draw if they were going to be serious about contending for the crown again this season and that’s exactly what they got.
They’ve been put up against Lille twice in the initial draw and the re-draw, and they’ll back themselves to overcome this challenge with relative ease and make it to the quarter-finals.
Villarreal vs Juventus
Villarreal edged their way through to the last 16 in impressive fashion after many had initially ruled them out altogether, and we don’t think it’s impossible for them to get one over on Juventus.
The Old Lady are ready to take things to the next level in some aspects but they’re frail in others, and they’ll have to dig deep every step of the way now.
Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
Atletico Madrid have a string of problems within their camp but somehow, this has turned out to be a draw we could actually see them doing quite well in.
Ralf Rangnick’s priority is probably going to be on steadying the ship domestically for Manchester United but, in equal measure to Atletico, they won’t feel overwhelmed here.
Benfica vs Ajax
Benfica are slightly off the pace in the Primeira Liga but they’ve done a splendid job of progressing through the group stage of the Champions League and past Barcelona.
Ajax, meanwhile, are pretty scary right now. They’ve made a few errors in their own title race but in the Champions League, they have been near enough picture perfect.