The draw for the Round of 16 of the Champions League has been conducted and we have some mouth-watering ties lined up when the competition resumes. The pick of the lot are obviously Real Madrid against Liverpool and PSG against Bayern Munich, but there are some other pretty even clashes that could make for compelling viewing.
Leipzig (Nike) vs Man City (Puma)
Brugge (Macron) vs Benfica (Adidas)
Liverpool (Nike) vs Real Madrid (Adidas)
AC Milan (Puma) vs Tottenham (Nike)
Eintracht Frankfurt (Nike) vs Napoli (EA7)
Dortmund (Puma) vs Chelsea (Nike)
Inter (Nike) vs Porto (New Balance)
PSG (Nike) vs Bayern Munich (Adidas)
There are seven Nike teams in the last 16, but somewhat interestingly, no two Nike teams have been paired against each other here, which essentially opens the possibility for the kit manufacturer to be the dominant brand come quarter final time.
The three Puma teams left have all been handed tough draws, with Leipzig to play Pep Guardiola’s Man City, Borussia Dortmund against Chelsea, and Milan squaring off against Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur. On paper, the Rossoneri probably have the best chance of the trio.
Brugge v Benfica and Frankfurt v Napoli are ties where all the teams involved will fancy their chances of progressing. According to Bovada, Benfica should progress but the Portuguese outfit will not take Brugge lightly after the latter’s group stage exploits- the Belgian side qualified from one that also had Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and FC Porto.
Liverpool against Real Madrid is a tough one to call, although the latter’s European pedigree, plus LFC’s poor recent record against opponents from the Spanish capital, will mean that defending champions Real will start favourites in the eyes of most people.
Three manufacturers- New Balance, EA7 and Macron, have only one representative in the last eight- in the form of Porto, Napoli and Brugge respectively.
PSG generally get difficult ties in Europe, and this time is no different, with the Parisians having been drawn against Bayern Munich, who were the only team to finish the group stages with a 100% record. Bayern were supposedly in a Group of Death with Barca and Inter for company, but beat both teams home and away, and didn’t even concede a goal in the process- the only two they let in were against Plzen!
Both the LFC Real and PSG-Bayern clashes pit one Nike heavyweight against an Adidas one. PSG though will be ruing that they couldn’t finish first in their group after being so dominant- they were pipped to it on away goals by Benfica after the two teams had been tied on H2H, goal difference and goals scored.