Champions League – Round of 16 Draw

Champions League is taking a break until February now that the group stage is complete. But before it does, they needed to determine the pairings for the next round of matches.

The draw took place this morning at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. As a reminder, here’s how the eight groups were settled during group play:

Group

Winners (seeded in draw)Runners-up (unseeded in draw)

A

Borussia Dortmund (GER)Atlético Madrid (ESP)

B

Barcelona (ESP)Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

C

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Liverpool (ENG)

D

Porto (POR)Schalke 04 (GER)

E

Bayern Munich (GER)Ajax (NED)

F

Manchester City (ENG)Lyon (FRA)

G

Real Madrid (ESP)Roma (ITA)

H

Juventus (ITA)Manchester United (ENG)

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(UPDATED) Champions League – Matchday 6 Scenarios

It’s time for Matchday 6 in Champions League. Four matches will be played each of the next two days, and while some of the matches won’t matter, there are still 12 spots up for grabs in the knockout phase. Beyond that, there are three groups that have yet to find a third-place finisher – those clubs head over to Europa League’s knockout phase – so we will try to point you towards the games that matter before the Champions League takes a two month hiatus and returns in February.

It’s important to win the group in order to be seeded in the draw for the knockout phase. The seeded team gets to host the second match of the two legs, allowing the seeded club to overcome a poor road showing in their first match if necessary. As mentioned, third place clubs head to Europa, and they too want to do their best, as the top four third-place finishers are seeded in the knockout phase of Europa League.

I’ll be using FiveThirtyEight’s Champions League Predictions when I talk about the various chances for placement within the groups, and reflect the club’s chances of claiming that particular spot. Here’s a group-by-group summary of how today’s results will impact the ending tables, with teams in bold locked into that position:

Read more(UPDATED) Champions League – Matchday 6 Scenarios

Dark Horse Chronicles – Real Madrid

This weeks Darkhorse Chronicles features an unusual name. This club is almost never a Darkhorse in anything, but that is where we are right now. Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in his blockbuster trade this summer, discussion has been rampant about their chances. Although they have fallen out of the top of La … Read moreDark Horse Chronicles – Real Madrid

Champions League – Matchday 4 Recap

After four matches in the Group Stage of the Champions League, there has Witbeen some separation. That said, only one club – Barcelona – has officially clinched a spot in the Round of 16. There are an additional six clubs that have been eliminated from reaching the Round of 16, though they can still technically finish third in their groups and qualify for the next round of Europa League.

As mentioned in our last matchday recap, Lokomotiv Moscow and AEK Athens were the only two clubs in the tournament without a point. They remain that way after Matchday 4 after both failing to win. While both are still technically in the mix for Europa qualification, chances are they won’t even make it there, most likely because of their large goal differentials (-9 for Lokomotiv and -8 for AEK Athens) and poor results against the other clubs in their group.

Here are some of the more shocking results of the fourth day of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location). Home teams are listed first:

Red Star Belgrade 2-0 Liverpool
I talked about this match in our weekly Small Club of the Week piece, because Red Star is one of our favorite “smaller” clubs and it was nice to see them achieve victory in a tournament where the odds were stacked against them. I wanted to mention it here because of the impact that it had on Group C. Napoli and Liverpool remain tied at the top with six points, but Paris Saint-Germain has five points and Red Star has four (they tied Napoli on Matchday 1). Red Star has an outside chance at qualifying for the Round of 16, with matches remaining at Napoli and at home against PSG, but they would need some help to do so. I’m pulling for the club obviously,, if only because it might mean that PSG fails to advance after their financial malfeasance (and subsequent coverup) was revealed this week.

Read moreChampions League – Matchday 4 Recap

Champions League – Matchday 2 Recap

The next 16 matches have been completed in the Champions League, and we have what is probably the first real upset, at least if pre-League expectations are to be believed. We also had all the Premier League teams ending with disappointing results, and our two Small Clubs in the draw – Young Boys and Red Star Belgrade – pretty much punch their tickets out of the competition with terrible results.

Here are some of the more shocking results of the first round of matches from around Europe (based on UEFA rankings heading into the match or location). Home teams are listed first:

Bayern Munich 1-1 Ajax
Bayern Munich is the second best club in UEFA, at least according to the club rankings. Ajax isn’t chopped liver, but they are currently ranked 29th. But the club from the Netherlands went into Munich and picked up a draw, and with it, first place in Group E after two matches. Bayern has to be disappointed in dropping two points in a home match, especially when most of the other favorites in other groups are sitting with six points after two matches. It could be worse, I suppose, and playing AEK Athens in three weeks might be just what the doctor ordered to right the ship for Bayern.

CSKA Moscow 1-0 Real Madrid
As bad as it is to draw against a lesser team, at least Bayern didn’t lose to Ajax. We can’t say the same about Real Madrid, the NUMBER ONE TEAM in UEFA, who lost to the team right behind Ajax in the rankings. Granted, the match was in Moscow, and Real remains the favorite in Group G, but it should be viewed as a wake-up call for the defending Champions League champs.

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Champions League – Group Draw

After two and a half months of qualifying play, we’ve finally reached the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League! But before matches kick off on 18 September, the qualifiers had to be drawn into their respective groups.
Six qualifiers – who joined at various stages of the qualification depending on the UEFA coefficient of their association – have to fight through five qualifying rounds. Only one club that entered in the first qualification round – Red Star Belgrade – made it through to the Group Stage. They are joined by Ajax (second qualification round), AEK Athens & Benfica (third qualifying round), and Young Boys and PSV Eindhoven (Play-off round).
The 26 teams that are placed directly into the Champions League at the Group Stage are pulled from the following associations:

  • 11 champions from associations 1–11
  • 6 runners-up from associations 1–6
  • 5 third-placed teams from associations 1–5
  • 4 fourth-placed teams from associations 1–4

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