UEFA Champions League Draw Hold Today

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The UEFA Champions League Knock out phase Draw ceremony comes today in Nyon, Switzerland Daily Mail guide brings complete lowdown on every team in the last-16 and teams likely to be paired together

Seeded

PSG (FRA, Group A)

Bayern Munich (GER, Group B)

Manchester City (ENG, Group C)

Juventus (ITA, Group D)

Liverpool (ENG, Group E)

Barcelona (ESP, Group F)

RB Leipzig (GER, Group G)

Valencia (ESP, Group H)

Unseeded

Real Madrid (ESP, Group A)

Tottenham (ENG, Group B)

Atalanta (ITA, Group C)

Atletico Madrid (ESP, Group D)

Napoli (ITA, Group E)

Dortmund (GER, Group F)

Lyon (FRA, Group G)

Chelsea (ENG, Group H)

The draw for the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League takes place on Monday at 11am GMT

When is it?
The Champions League last-16 draw will take place on Monday December 16 at UEFA’s HQ in Nyon, Switzerland.

What time is it?
The draw will begin at 11am (GMT).

How can I watch?
You can watch the Champions League last-16 draw on BT Sport 1 or as a live stream on the UEFA website.

TEAM GUIDE
Paris Saint-Germain
Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Star man: Kylian Mbappe

It’s always the same question with Paris Saint-Germain – is this finally their year? It is always promising in the group stage and that includes this year where with a game to play they saw off Real Madrid for top spot. But often there is a choke once the knockout stages come round, including a home collapse against Manchester United earlier in the year and that infamous 6-1 capitulation at Barcelona. Maybe there is more to come this year, especially with Neymar having played less than a half in the group stages…

Who could they face? Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea

Champions League best? Semi-finals

Bayern Munich

Manager: Hans-Dieter Flick (interim)

Star man: Robert Lewandowski

For all his troubles domestically, Niko Kovac did much of the hard work in guiding Bayern Munich through to the last-16 as group winners – underlined by their crushing 7-2 annihilation at Tottenham which for all intent and purposes saw the job done on the second match day. Or maybe it was Robert Lewandowski who put in all the hard yards? Netting 10 goals in just five games to lead the scoring charts – who says footballers are past their best in their 30s?

Who could they face? Real Madrid, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Lyon, Chelsea

Champions League best: Winners (5) 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013

Manchester City
Manager: Pep Guardiola

Star man: Kevin De Bruyne

Hopes of a third Premier League title in a row being binned before Christmas was most certainly not part of the plan but it does give City a chance to prioritise Europe and a so far elusive Champions League crown. Given a relatively easy group, they delivered on expectations to progress as group winners. But can Pep Guardiola finally once again get his hands on the trophy he last lifted in 2011 or will City continue to stumble from bad to worse after Christmas?

Who could they face? Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon

Champions League best? Semi-finals

Juventus

Manager: Maurizio Sarri

Star man: Cristiano Ronaldo

It has all looked quite comfortable for Juventus, who saw off Atletico Madrid to win the group with a match to play. But late shows were needed to see off group minnows Lokomotiv Moscow… twice. Ronaldo continues to prove the star man even as he approaches 35-years-old but do we dare suggest his powers are on the wane? Just one assist and one goal in the group stage – and even that was the third in a 3-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen

Who could they face? Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Chelsea

Champions League best: Winners (2) 1985, 1996

Liverpool

Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Star man: Virgil van Dijk

Qualifying on the final day may have indicated a nervy passage through the group stage for the defending champions but at no point did they ever look like they were about to tumble out of the competition. They remain one of the favourites to go all the way again but keeping players fit as they battle on many fronts will be key – especially centre back Virgil van Dijk.

Who could they face? Real Madrid, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon.

Champions League best: Winners (6) 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019

Barcelona
Manager: Ernesto Valverde

Star man: Lionel Messi

Pitted in the so-called group of death, Barcelona made light work of supposed rivals Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund to progress as top seeds with a match to play. They may not carry the same fear factor as they used to, but when you still have the world’s best player and Ballon d’Or winner in your ranks – you cannot be underestimated.

Who could they face? Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta, Napoli, Lyon, Chelsea

Champions League best: Winners (5) 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015

RB Leipzig
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann

Star man: Timo Werner

Sorting out their previously poor form on the road in Europe saw them go unbeaten in their three group games – winning two of them. It was the springboard Nagelsmann’s side needed to progress as group winners and reach the last-16 for the first time in their history. Along with Valencia, they are the team every group runner-up wants to face but they will be no pushovers.

Who could they face? Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Chelsea.

Champions League best: Last-16

Valencia
Manager: Albert Celades

Star man: Daniel Parejo

For a side that misses chance after chance, Valencia can consider themselves fortunate to still be in the competition following progression from a hard thought group along with Chelsea and Ajax. But it was a strong team performance at Ajax on the final night that saw them progress with a 1-0 win and while they are one of the favoured picks for group runners-up they are not to be underestimated.

Who could they face? Tottenham Hotspur, Atalanta, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon.

Champions League best: Finalists

Valencia ground out a 1-0 win at Ajax to book their spot in the last-16 as group winners

Real Madrid
Manager: Zinedine Zidane

Star man: Eden Hazard

Since the initial Champions League group stage was introduced in 1992, Real Madrid have appeared in the tournament 23 times and on every single occasion they have made the next round. It was never in doubt this time too, but given the way they easily surrendered top spot to PSG there has been little about Zidane’s side to strike fear in their opponents, especially after Ajax’s last-16 demolition job at the Bernabeu earlier in the year.

Who could they face? Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool, RB Leipzig

Champions League best: Winners (13) 1956 – 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016-2018

Tottenham Hotspur
Manager: Jose Mourinho

Star man: Son Heung-min

Last season’s beaten finalists have cruised through into the last-16 despite a couple of nervy displays against Olympiacos and suffering their heaviest ever home defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich. The 7-2 loss on the second match day did little to dent their progression which was plain sailing compared to last term, but even under new boss Jose Mourinho the defeat by the German champions was a sign of just how far behind Europe’s elite they are. Son’s form will be key to their European hopes.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Barcelona, RB Leipzig, Valencia

Champions League best? Finalists

Atalanta
Manager: Gian Piero Gasperini

Star man: Mario Pasalic

As debutants in the Champions League this term and forced to play their home games at the San Siro, Atalanta looked hopelessly out of their depth after losing their opening three group games. But a stunning reply to take seven from their next nine points ensured that the Italian side became just the second team after Newcastle United to progress in the competition after having zero points at the halfway mark of the group. They still though enter the last-16 as the weakest team according to bookmakers.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Barcelona, RB Leipzig, Valencia

Champions League best: Last-16

Atletico Madrid

Manager: Diego Simeone

Star man: Joao Felix

There were few dramas from Atletico Madrid as they eased through the group stages but there was disappointment in their meek challenge to battle Juventus for top spot in the group. Nonetheless they remain a feared side in the knock-out stages especially if stars like Joao Felix can hit their best form to back up an already strong defence.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Liverpool, RB Leipzig

Champions League best: Finalists

Napoli
Manager: Gennaro Gattuso

Star man: Dries Mertens

It’s all falling apart at Napoli so who knows what side will turn up for the last-16 once the games start getting underway in February. With Carlo Ancelotti sacked, players wanting to leave, owners despising the players and fans staying away it’s a total mess at Naples. Key for them will be keeping hold of Dries Mertens who scored nearly half of their 11 group stage goals.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barcelona, RB Leipzig, Valencia

Champions League best: Last-16

Borussia Dortmund
Manager: Thomas Tuchel

Star man: Marco Reus

Edged out Inter Milan in a group of death also featuring Barcelona and on paper at least look to have one of the most feared attacks with the likes of Jadon Sancho and Julian Brandt in their ranks. Reality is no team in the last-16 scored fewer than their eight goals and they will be relying on the experience of 30-year-old Marco Reus to keep them ticking over.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus, Valencia

Champions League best: Winners (1) (1997)

Lyon
Manager: Rudi Garcia

Star man: Memphis Depay

Lyon boarded the train for the Champions League last-16 just as it was leaving the platform, with Memphis Depay’s strike eight minutes from time rescuing a 2-2 draw at home to RB Leipzig on the final match day and ensuring they progressed at Zenit’s expense. Depay will be crucial to how far they go from here, but having struggled in what was seen as the weakest group they will be a preferred draw for group winners.

Who could they face? Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool, Barcelona, Valencia

Champions League best: Semi-finals

Chelsea

Manager: Frank Lampard

Star man: Tammy Abraham

Frank Lampard’s young side picked up valuable experience in the group stage, riding a tidal wave of emotions and scorelines before getting over the line on the final matchday. With a transfer ban now lifted they could be even stronger by the time the knockout stages get underway and will be a side many of the group winners will look to avoid in the draw.

Who could they face? Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Barcelona, RB Leipzig

Champions League best: Winners (1) 2012

How does the draw work?
The Champions League group winners will be seeded and runners-up unseeded.

The eight seeded and eight unseeded teams are placed in two separate bowls, with one picked from each to determine each of the eight two-legged last-16 ties. Unseeded teams will play the home leg first.

Teams can not face any side from their own nation (I.E Premier League sides cannot be drawn against another Premier League outfit) and neither can they face a team they competed against in the group stage.

When will Champions League last-16 games start?
The first legs will take place on February 18/19 and 25/26, with the return legs taking place on March 10/11 and 17/18.

Benzema’s Late Equalizer against Valencia Extends Madrid Unbeaten Run
Real Madrid fluffed a great opportunity to go two points clear at the summit of La Liga, as a late Karim Benzema goal – remarkably assisted by Thibaut Courtois – could only rescue a point in Valencia.

Real started on the front foot, although they looked a touch awkward and indecisive in the final third. They did see Rodrygo and the prolific Karim Benzema go close with headed efforts in the first half, while Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos forced solid low stops out of Jaume Costa with long-range efforts.

At the other end, Ferran Torres was looking lively for Valencia. He spun Raphael Varane and got a low effort on target, before sending a header wide following an error from Thibaut Courtois – with Varane’s substantial presence proving just enough to put him off on this occasion.

Torres vs Courtois was becoming the story of the match as we entered the second half, and the Belgian had to be on his toes to deny his adversary within seconds of the restart. He flew off his line to close the angle and send the ball wide, after Rodrigo had returned a one-two that split the Real defence apart and left Torres one on one.

As the game wore on, Valencia steadily grew into it, with Albert Celades narrowing his midfield four and stifling the supply line to Real’s wide men. Although this switch led to the game completely collapsing as a spectacle, it caught the visitors out and visibly wore them down – so when Carlos Soler arrived at the back post to convert Daniel Wass’ cross and open the scoring on 78 minutes, it was no major surprise.

The hosts looked to have run the clock down with relentless effectiveness, and after Luka Jovic’s late goal was chopped off for offside, that looked to be it. There would be another twist, though, as after Toni Kroos’ 94th minute corner caused havoc, Courtois – who had come up in a desperate attempt to find an equaliser – touched the ball into the path of Benzema, who fired home to salvage a point.

Ljungberg Calls for Speedy Managerial Decision after Man City Dominance at Emirates
Caretaker Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg believes the club must make a permanent appointment quickly to halt their slide after a Kevin De Bruyne inspired Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 win at the Emirates yesterday.

De Bruyne scored twice and teed up Raheem Sterling for City’s other goal to leave Arsenal down in ninth in the Premier League on the back of just one win in their last 12 games in all competitions.

Ljungberg has been in charge for five of those matches, but is hoping a permanent appointment can be made before next weekend’s trip to Everton.

“It is a great honour to do this, but I’ve said I think it needs to be cleared up, to make a decision so that everybody knows,” said Ljungberg.

“It is totally up to the club. I try to do things as well as I can but it would be good to make a decision, regardless of what it is.”

There was little doubt City would bounce back from a derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend that left them 14 points behind Liverpool at the top of the table after De Bruyne opened the scoring just 90 seconds in.

Gabriel Martinelli had Arsenal’s only shot on target inside the first minute when Ederson blocked from his fellow Brazilian.

City broke straight up the other end and Gabriel Jesus’s low cross picked out De Bruyne to stroke the ball into the roof of the net.

Pep Guardiola’s men had been ruthlessly cut apart on the counter-attack by United and were conscious not to make the same mistake again as they allowed Arsenal possession for large spells before breaking at speed.

The visitors doubled their lead just 15 minutes in with De Bruyne this time the creator as he carried the ball forward before squaring for Sterling to slot home his 16th goal of the season.

De Bruyne then showed his superior quality to any other player on the pitch again five minutes before halftime as this time he curled into the bottom corner on his weaker left foot from outside the box.

“He is an extraordinary player, we didn’t discover his quality today,” said Guardiola.

“He sees passes and actions that normally human beings cannot see. I always tell him you have to score more goals and today he scored two incredible goals.”

Only a brilliant save from Bernd Leno denied De Bruyne a first half hat-trick moments later as the German’s fingertips turned another long-range De Bruyne effort onto the post.

Arsenal’s preparation for the game had been disturbed by the controversy surrounding Mesut Ozil’s support for the Muslim minority Uighurs in Chinese province Xinjiang.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV pulled coverage of the match and Arsenal distanced themselves from Ozil’s comments.

The German was still selected by Ljungberg, but made little impact before being substituted on the hour mark and his slow walk to the touchline before booting away his gloves in frustration drew the wrath of some disgruntled Arsenal fans.

“The China thing, that is a political discussion that I leave for the club to deal with,” added Ljungberg.

“When it comes to other stuff, he should be annoyed when he comes off, but I am the coach I took the decision we need more energy in the team.

“We are a team that wants to have possession but sometimes we need to run and tackle and try to win the ball back.”

Only Leno prevented the scoreline from becoming even more embarrassing for Arsenal as he saved one-on-one from Jesus and at his near post from Riyad Mahrez.

The appointment of a new manager cannot come soon enough if the Gunners are to salvage anything from a thoroughly disappointing season so far.