The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥 | OneFootball

The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥 | OneFootball

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OneFootball

Jack Hobbs·18 December 2023

The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

Article image:The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

The draw for the Champions League round of 16 has just been made and its safe to say there are some tasty ties coming our way in February! You can check out the draw in full here.

Now then, here are the biggest talking points for our first set of knock out ties….


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Pick of the bunch 🔥

Article image:The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

Napoli v Barcelona is by far the best game of the draw on paper and it has all the makings to be a belter of a tie.

The Italians are coming off the back of a phenomenal season after storming to their first Serie A title in over 30 years and making it to the quarter finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

This season hasn’t been as smooth in Italy with the Partenopei currently sat in 5th place but they made light work of Group C and finished 2nd behind Madrid with relative ease.

Barcelona too topped their group with conviction and will be looking to stamp out the flakiness they have shown in Europe’s top competition over the last couple of years.

The two sides have met just twice before in the round of 16 back in 2020, with Barça winning 4-2 on aggregate after a 3-1 home victory at the Camp Nou.

Club legends for both teams scored over the two legs with Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens for Napoli and of course Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez for the Catalans. Of course all four are no longer there but will we see new legends rise in this tie?

We can’t wait to find out!


Delight for Arsenal, oh dear for the Danes…. 🎭

Article image:The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

FC Porto v Arsenal & FC Copenhagen v Manchester City

The two remaining English sides look to have favourable ties on their hands.

Arsenal’s long awaited return to the big time has gone swimmingly as far with the Gunners topping Group B with just one loss to their name. You would imagine Mikel Arteta would be pretty happy with the prospect of playing Porto early on with the likes of Bayern, PSG and Real Madrid all lurking menacingly.

However, Porto aren’t to be taken lightly. Finishing runners up to Barcelona despite finishing on the same points tally is no mean feat and it is something the Spaniard will no doubt be drilling into the heads of his squad. Not to mention they have also won this competition more times than Arsenal…

Manchester City on the other hand will likely be even more excited by the prospect of playing FC Copenhagen who, despite their great achievement of qualifying for the knockouts for the 6th time in their history, are arguably the “weakest” team of the bunch.

Again like Porto they are not to be underestimated as Manchester United fans will no doubt be remembering, but you would think that City will make light work of the Danes.

Overall, the English sides will be feeling pretty confident.


Best of the rest 🤝

Article image:The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

Inter v Atletico & RB Leipzig v Real Madrid

Two other fixtures from the draw stand out as potential crackers but both for different reasons.

Inter Milan taking on Atlético de Madrid will be a fiery and aggressive affair which you can always expect from a match involving Diego Simeone’s Atleti but you could also imagine the scoreline being pretty low.

The two sides have never met before in the Champions League so this could be one to keep an eye on.

RB Leipzig vs Real Madrid on the other hand absolutely screams goals.

Loïs Openda and Xavi Simons are on fire for Leipzig and we all know the quality Los Blancos possess. Jude Bellingham in particular seems impossible to stop having scored his 17th goal in 20 games for Madrid against Villarreal in a 4-1 demolition.

The last meeting of the two ended 3-2 to the Germans so if you want goals, this would be a good place to start.


Favourable ties ⏳

Article image:The biggest talking points from the Champions League last 16 draw 🔥

PSG v Real Sociedad, Lazio v Bayern & PSV v Dortmund

And finally, not that these games are any the less important or exciting, but we have a pretty good idea of who might be heading though into the quarters.

Firstly, Lazio vs Bayern Munich.

It’s safe to say that Lazio have had the moment of the tournament so far, when goalkeeper Ivan Provedel scored a precious equalising goal for the Italians in the 94th minute against Atletico Madrid but they are going to have their work cut out for them if they want to continue to make memories in Europe this season.

Bayern are looking very sharp and ruthless both domestically and in the Champions League. They topped Group A without breaking a sweat and managed to do so without losing a game.

Harry Kane has taken to Germany like a duck to water and having scored 20 goals in 17 Bundesliga games, as well as 4 in the Champions League.

No disrespect to Lazio at all but Bayern and most viewers, will be expecting them to progress.

Paris Saint-Germain against Real Sociedad is another example.

It feels wrong to say that the Spanish side are unlikely to progress against the Parisians given they topped their group, and also went unbeaten in the process, but the quality that PSG possess is just incredibly hard to overlook.

There is no doubt the chance for an upset, something the French side are prone to be on the receiving side of, but with Kylian Mbappé at your disposal you should be progressing in these situations.

Finally, we have PSV v Dortmund.

The Dutch side are in fantastic form and sit top of the Eredivisie, ten points clear of Feyenoord.

Dortmund are in a rotten patch of form and are winless in their last five games in all competitions. This tie can go one of two ways, either PSV continue to shine and Dortmund’s woes worsen, or the Germans come out of their slump looking to revive their season.

The way things are going, the former seems more likely. Either way, it will be a nice reunion for Donyell Malen as he faces his old side for the first time since leaving in 2021.