5:27 am - Wednesday September 24, 2014

Who Meets Who In The Round Of 16 In The UEFA Champions League?

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Uefa-Champions-League

Uefa-Champions-League

Tomorrow in Nyon, Switzerland the Champions League Round of 16 pairings will be sorted out. My task here is to explain the mechanisms of the draw and why a pairing like Manchester United vrs Barcelona wouldn’t be possible at this stage of the competition. First of all, let’s remind ourselves of the group standings after the group stage.

GROUP A:

Group winner: PARIS SAINT GERMAIN (France)

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Second place: FC PORTO (Portugal)

Third place: DYNAMO KYIV (Ukraine)

Fourth place: DINAMO ZAGREB (Croatia)

 

GROUP B:

Group winner: SCHALKE (Germany)

Second place: ARSENAL (England)

Third place: OLYMPIACOS (Greece)

Fourth place: MONTPEILLER (France)

 

GROUP C:

Group winner: MALAGA (Spain)

Second place: AC MILAN (Italy)

Third place: ZENIT ST PETERSBURG (Russia)

Fourth place: ANDERLECHT (Belgium)

 

GROUP D:

Group winner: BORUSSIA DORTMUND (Germany)

Second place: REAL MADRID (Spain)

Third place: AJAX (Holland)

Fourth place: MANCHESTER CITY (England)

 

GROUP E

Group winner: JUVENTUS (Italy)

Second place: SHAKHTAR DONETSK (Ukraine)

Third place: CHELSEA (England)

Fourth place: NORDJSAELLAND (Denmark)

 

GROUP F

Group winner: BAYERN MUNICH (Germany)

Second place: VALENCIA (Spain)

Third place: BATE BORISOV (Belarus)

Fourth place: LILLE (France)

 

GROUP G

Group winner: BARCELONA (Spain)

Second place: CELTIC (Scotland)

Third place: BENFICA (Portugal)

Fourth place: SPARTAK MOSCOW (Russia)

 

GROUP H

Group winner: MANCHESTER UNITED (England)

Second place: GALATASARY (Turkey)

Third place: CFR CLUJ (Romania)

Fourth place: BRAGA (Portugal)

GROUP WINNERS (Qualifies for next stage of the competition): Manchester United, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Schalke, PSG, Bayern Munich, Malaga

SECOND PLACED TEAMS (Qualifies for next stage of the competition): Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, Valencia, AC Milan, Arsenal, Porto

THIRD PLACED TEAMS (Europa League bound): Dynamo Kyiv, Olympiacos, Zenit St Petersburg, Ajax, CFR Cluj, Benfica, BATE Borisov, Chelsea

FOURTH PLACED TEAMS (Bundled out of Europe completely): Manchester City, Braga, Spartak Moscow, Lille, Nordsjaelland, Anderlecht, Dinamo Zagreb, Montpeiller

 

RULES OF THE PAIRING:

  1. Group winners in one group, can only be paired with a runner up in another group but there is a contraindication to this rule which is explained in rule number 4.
  2. Group winners cannot face each other; so for example, Manchester United cannot be paired with Juventus.
  3. Runners-up from two different groups cannot be paired with each other; so for example, Arsenal cannot be paired with Real Madrid.
  4. Two teams from the same football association (or better still same country) cannot face each other even if one of them was a group winner and the other, a runner up. For example, although Real Madrid placed second and Barca topped their group, they cannot be paired because they are from the same football association.

From the above rules, I’ve computed the possible permutations for EACH GROUP WINNER:

MANCHESTER UNITED’s possible opponents:

Real Madrid, Shaktar Donetsk, Celtic, Valencia, AC Milan or FC Porto

 

BARCELONA’s possible opponents:

Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, AC Milan, Arsenal, Porto

 

BORUSSIA DORTMUND’s possible opponents:

Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, Valencia, AC Milan, Arsenal, Porto

 

JUVENTUS’ possible opponents:

Real Madrid, Galatsaray, Celtic, Valencia, Arsenal, Porto

 

BAYERN MUNICH’s possible opponents:

Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, AC Milan, Arsenal, Porto

 

SCHALKE’s possible opponents:

Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, Valencia, AC Milan, Porto

 

PARIS SAINT GERMAIN’s possible opponents:

Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, Valencia, AC Milan, Arsenal, Porto

 

MALAGA’s possible opponents:

Shakhtar Donetsk, Galatsaray, Celtic, Arsenal, Porto

 

Some possible tantalizing draws:

Real Madrid vrs Juventus

Shakhtar Donetsk vrs Barcelona

Manchester United vrs Real Madrid

Bayern Munich vrs AC Milan

Arsenal vrs Barcelona

Bayern Munich vrs Arsenal

Barcelona vrs AC Milan

Manchester United vrs AC Milan

Borussia Dortmund vrs Arsenal

Juventus vrs Arsenal

 

It’s very difficult to make a prediction but I’ll make an effort:

MY PREDICTIONS:

Schalke vrs Real Madrid

Barcelona vrs Shakhtar Donetsk

Juventus vrs Celtic

Borussia Dortmund vrs Arsenal

Malaga vrs FC Porto

PSG vrs Galatasaray

Manchester United vrs Valencia

Bayern Munich vrs AC Milan

 

So what do you think? Which team do you want your club to avoid? Which team do you want your club to meet??

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