Last night saw the final round of the group stages take place for the Champions League. We learned what teams would be progressing forward into the next round and which teams will be making the move to Thursday nights in the Europa League.
International club football will always through up some surprises but this year competition has been one if the hardest to call. Some very notable exits and a lot of shock results that no one would have predicted.
Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and PSG all top their respective groups. They will supposedly get the easier ties ahead of the first knockout stage of the competition.
The teams that finished second in their respective groups and retained a place in the Champions League were as follows; Atletico Madrid, Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Porto, Atalanta, Sevilla, Lazio, Barcelona and RB Leipzig.
Although none of the teams mentioned will be an easy game for the group winners, you can already see some notable names missing from the next round of fixtures. However, some teams may find comfort in knowing they will not be drawn against a team from the nation.
For example Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will not play RB Leipzig or Borussia Monchengladbach respectively and Juventus will avoid a tie with either Lazio or Atalanta. The English clubs that are still present for this round can face any of the other teams who have qualified after all finished top if their groups.
The teams entering the Europa League due to finishing third in their group includes some pretty big names.
Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Olympiakos, Ajax, FC Krasnodar, Club Brugge, Dynamo Kiev and Manchester United have all faced the task of Thursday night football.
A notable name missing from the above is Serie A giants Inter Milan, who finished bottom of their group after only managing one victory.
Manchester United will join fellow English clubs Arsenal, Spurs and Leicester after failing to gain a point in their final game which would have seen the qualify.
The final games of the Europa League take place tonight and will confirm the clubs that the above could face in the next round.
The games for the Champions League will take place mid-February and the draw will take place in the new year. Although we know any games drawn will be entertain, here are my predictions/games I’d be most interested in seeing.
Bayern Munich Vs Atalanta
Real Madrid VS Lazio
Man City VS RB Leipzig
Liverpool VS Sevilla
Chelsea VS Atletico Madrid
Borussia Dortmund VS Barcelona
Juventus VS Borussia Monchengladbach
PSG VS FC Porto
Let me know in the comments below who you want to see face off in the next round of the Champions League and who you think will win the competition.