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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 January 2019

Explainer: The Uefa Champions League last-16 draw - why Real Madrid have a 50 per cent chance of facing an English side

A look at the 16 sides still in the competition and why some teams have more possible opponents then others

Gareth Bale and Real Madrid have a 50 per cent chance of facing an English side in the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League. Getty Images
Gareth Bale and Real Madrid have a 50 per cent chance of facing an English side in the last 16 of the Uefa Champions League. Getty Images

The group stages for the Uefa Champions League are over and we are now down to 16 teams.

The draw for the first round of knockout games, which will be played over two legs, is on Monday December 17 in Nyon, Switzerland, at 3pm UAE time.

The complexities of the draw have created a scenario where Manchester City can face only four teams, champions Real Madrid have a 50 per cent chance of facing an English side, and Liverpool are guaranteed to face a former winner of the competition.

Here is what to watch for.

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The group winners

There are rules here that mean some teams have more potential opponents then others.

A winning side cannot face the side who qualified from the same group as them. They can also not play a team from their own country at this stage, with the draw being opened up from the quarter-final stages.

Borussia Dortmund

How they qualified Won Group A on goal difference from Atletico Madrid. The 1997 winners based their success on an impressive defence that kept five clean sheets in six games.

Who they could face Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Ajax, Lyon, Roma or Manchester United

Barcelona

How they qualified Won Group B at a relative canter with 14 points from a possible 18. The La Liga champions are targeting a fifth title in 14 years and first since 2015.

Who they could face Liverpool, Schalke, Ajax, Lyon, Roma or Manchester United

Paris Saint-Germain

How they qualified The Ligue 1 winners overcame setback of losing opening game to Liverpool to win Group C. Aim for them now is to do better then last year's elimination at the last-16 stage.

Who they could face Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Schalke, Ajax, Roma and Manchester United

Porto

How they qualified The Portuguese side dominated Group D, picking up the most points of anyone in the group stages with 16 won from six games.

Who they could face Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Ajax, Lyon, Roma and Manchester United

Bayern Munich

How they qualified While the German champions have struggled in the Bundesliga this season, an unbeaten campaign of four wins and two draws in Group E saw them through.

Who they could face Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Lyon, Roma and Manchester United

Manchester City

How they qualified Pep Guardiola's side bounced back from losing to Lyon in their opening Group E game to win four of the next five games and finish top by five points.

Who they could face Atletico Madrid, Schalke, Ajax, and Roma.

Real Madrid

How they qualified The La Liga side who are bidding for a fourth successive title won Group G relatively comfortably, although their campaign ended with a whimper in losing to CSKA Moscow.

Who they could face Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Schalke, Ajax, Lyon, or Manchester United

Juventus

How they qualified The Serie A title holders finished top of Group H despite losing their final game to Young Boys. Are bidding to win the title for the first time since 1996.

Who they could face Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Schalke, Ajax and Lyon.

The runners-up

The same rules apply. The runners-up cannot play the side who finished above them in the same group, or a team from their own country.

Atletico Madrid

How they qualified The 2014 and 2016 runners-up are through to the last 16 having finish second in Group A behind Borussia Dortmund.

Who they could face Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, or Juventus

Tottenham Hotspur

How they qualified Mauricio Pochettino's men have become only the eighth side to reach the knockout stages after picking up only one point from their opening three games. A draw in Barcelona in their final game earned them second place in Group B.

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juventus

Liverpool

How they qualified Mohamed Salah's goal gave Jurgen Klopp's side victory over Napoli in their final Group C game. This meant they leapfrogged the Italians to be second behind PSG in the group.

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juventus

Schalke

How they qualified Not a match for Group D winners Porto but still qualified comfortably from Group D with 11 points to their name

Who they could face Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, Real Madrid or Juventus

Ajax

How they qualified The 1995 champions are through to the knockout stages after being unbeaten in Group E, with three wins and three draws.

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Manchester City, Real Madrid or Juventus

Lyon

How they qualified The Ligue 1 side showed they are a team to be feared in the knockout stages as they won four points against Manchester City, three of which came with a victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Porto, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juventus

Roma

How they qualified Last season's semi-finalists were one of only two sides, along with Liverpool, to reach the last 16 despite losing three of their six Group G games.

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Bayern Munich or Manchester City

Manchester United

How they qualified Mixed feelings for Jose Mourinho's men. Given their mixed Premier League form will have been happy to qualify, but a 2-1 loss to Valencia meant they missed out on topping Group H at the expense of Juventus

Who they could face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Porto, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid

The third-place sides

Club Brugge, Inter Milan, Napoli, Galatasary, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Viktoria Plzen and Valencia will now move to the Europa League and will be included in the last-32 draw for that competition when the draw is made for that on Monday.

The fourth-place sides

For Monaco, PSV Eindhoven, Red Star Belgrade, Lokomotiv Moscow, AEK Athens, Hoffenheim, CSKA Moscow and Young Boys the European adventure is over, at least for this season. All eight teams will now concentrate on their respective domestic campaigns.

Updated: December 13, 2018 11:19 AM

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