After a risky Champions League group stage, a well-known assortment of Europe’s soccer giants are within the draw for the knockout rounds in Switzerland on Monday, though one titan looms over all of the others. Of the 16 groups who will go into the 2 pots on the UEFA headquarters in Nyon for the draw at 1100 GMT (4:30PM IST), 4 are German and 4 are Spanish.
There are three golf equipment every from Italy and England with two-time winners Porto and final season’s shedding finalists Paris Saint-Germain making up the checklist.
Reigning champions Bayern Munich are among the many eight seeds with Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester Metropolis, PSG and Actual Madrid.
The opposite pot will comprise Porto, Atalanta, Lazio, Sevilla, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
But whereas the final 16 has a well-known look, most of the gamers don’t.
This has been a season of youth within the Champions League, generally by alternative, usually by necessity.
Bayern marched to the title final 12 months successful all 11 video games.
They received their first 4 group video games this season earlier than hitting the crash barrier that’s Atletico Madrid and drawing 1-1.
That left the 2 golf equipment tied for many consecutive wins in a single European competitors. Atletico received 15 straight within the Europa League from 2011 to autumn 2012.
Whereas Bayern, like Chelsea and Manchester Metropolis cruised to first place of their teams, different golf equipment had bumpier rides.
“I do not assume we are able to over-analyse the group stage,” mentioned Chelsea supervisor Frank Lampard after fielding a youthful workforce and drawing the final group recreation at residence to Krasnodar.
When groups analyse their opponents after the draw, they are going to have a lot to ponder.
Which Liverpool will they face? Will it’s the workforce that scored the largest away victory by an English membership at an Italian opponent once they received 5-Zero at Atalanta or the one which suffered their largest residence loss below Jurgen Klopp once they fell 2-Zero to identical opponents within the subsequent match?
Barcelona regarded like a European pressure as they received their first 5 video games, together with a formidable win in Turin, solely to soften down, not for the primary time this season, within the final match, shedding 3-Zero at residence to Juventus with 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice.
A number of different golf equipment are struggling to search out an identification to match Bayern.
– ‘And not using a soul you can’t win’ –
“Our objective, have to be to discover a exact identification as quickly as doable, a really particular soul, as a result of with out a soul you can’t win, even at desk soccer,” mentioned 42-year-old Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
A season that began late and ends early is a part of the issue.
For some golf equipment, accidents are piling up.
Liverpool, shorn of a number of stars and dealing with a crowded Premier League schedule, fielded their youngest Champion League lineup as they drew 1-1 at Midtyjlland of their final recreation.
“The road-up was the results of consideration about our state of affairs,” mentioned Klopp.
After Barcelona’s loss to Juventus, residence supervisor Ronald Koeman blamed accidents.
“We now have some good gamers out,” he mentioned. “If we now have them again then we are able to compete.”
But accidents don’t solely clarify the youthful look of the Champions League because the current development of age data tumbling accelerated.
Barcelona turned the primary workforce with two scorers below 18 in a Champions League match when Ansu Fati and Pedri struck towards Ferencvaros. Fati has since injured a knee and is out till at the very least March.
Dortmund are using a youthful wave by alternative.
Youssoufa Moukoko turned the youngest participant to seem within the competitors at 16 years and 18 days. At 17 years, 113 days, Jude Bellingham, turned the youngest English participant to begin.
The knockout rounds might supply a well-known lineup, however additionally they promise a youthful solid of gamers.
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