Champions League: Key details about the round of 16 draw
The draw for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 will be held on Monday. The group stage of the competition came to an end with one matchday six encounter between Atalanta and Villarreal to be played tonight after heavy snowfall marred proceedings. Five-time European champions Barca were eliminated in the group stages for the first time in 21 years. We present the details.
Why does this story matter?
We enter the knockout stages of the UCL and there could be some mouth-watering clashes in the next round. With Chelsea unseeded, they could draw someone like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. We could also see Manchester United be up against PSG.
Teams who have qualified for the round of 16
The eight teams who finished top of their respective groups are seeded. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Lille topped the show. Meanwhile, Chelsea join Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Sporting Lisbon, Inter Milan, Benfica, Salzburg and one of Atalanta or Villarreal as the non-seeded sides in the round of 16 draw.
The key factors to keep in mind
The 16 teams will be put into two pots. One pot is for the seeded teams, who are the eight group winners. The other one is for the unseeded teams, who are the eight runners up. Teams from the same national association cannot be drawn against each other at the round of 16 stage. Also, teams from the same pool cannot face one another.
No away goal rule this season
The away goals rule has been removed by UEFA, so matches level after 180 minutes will go to extra time. If the teams still cannot be separated after extra time, then there will be a penalty shoot-out.
United, City and Liverpool can face these sides
Manchester United, who topped F, can face Atletico Madrid, PSG, Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica or Red Bull Salzburg. Group A leaders Man City can face Atletico, Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Red Bull Salzburg, Villarreal/Atalanta, or Benfica. Liverpool, who had a 100% record in the group stage, can be pitted against PSG, Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Villarreal/Atalanta, or Red Bull Salzburg.
Whom can Chelsea be up against?
Round of 16 to commence in February
The round of 16 matches will take place over two legs. The first legs will be played on February 15, 16, 22, and 23, with the second legs to be held on March 8, 9, 15, and 16. The eight seeded teams will be away for the first leg before being at home for the return matches.
These teams are demoted to the Europa League
Barcelona were one of the star-studded teams who failed to progress and will now feature in the UEFA Europa League. Besides Barca, the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Zenit, Atalanta/Villarreal. Sheriff, FC Porto, and RB Leipzig will now play in the UEL.