The UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw is early Monday morning and if you’re willing to wake up at 6 AM ET and you aren’t going to work, good for you. Anyway, we’re here to rank each team so if your team is in the Champions League, you can determine who to avoid and not avoid for a successful round of 16 campaign.
For the round of 16, teams have been split in two groups of eight teams. The eight teams who won their groups are in the seeded group and the eight teams who were runners up are placed in the non seeded group. From there, a team from each group will be paired up to create eight one-on-one matchups. So let’s get started with the seeded group and a rather obvious choice at #1.
1) Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich is top of the ranking because they have the team, they’re leading by eight points now, who knows how many points they’ll lead by in February. And most importantly, the Bundesliga takes a month off for most of January so when Bayern come back, they would have only played a few weeks and are fresher than everyone else.
Let’s face it, nobody will want to face Barcelona in the round of 16. The last time Barcelona was eliminated in the round of 16 was in the 2006-07 season so it’s almost automatic that Barcelona will win.
3) Real Madrid
If Real Madrid doesn’t field a ineligible lineup, they will still be tough to beat in the round of 16. Yeah they have been in an inconsistent form recently but they will no doubt turn things around and when they are at their best, they are almost unbeatable.
4) Manchester City
The top three teams on the list are those who are pretty much unbeatable in the round of 16. Manchester City begins the list of teams who are still tough but are beatable. We all already know about the importance of Vincent Kompany to the team so hopefully by February, Kompany will be back to 100% and Manchester City can get back to getting clean sheets.
Wolfsburg have struggled but like Bayern Munich, will have the benefit of the one month winter break that the Bundesliga provides its teams. That kind of break will give Wolfsburg enough of an edge to win their round of 16 game.
Given Chelsea’s form this season, I would have put them 8th. But knowing that we’re already in December and they need a miraculous effort to even get back to the top four, Chelsea’s last hope is to win the Champions League. So they must concentrate all their resources in Champions League.
7) Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid is actually in 2nd place in La Liga and like any Diego Simeone team, Atletico will go on the defensive and advance by parking the bus. They will still prove to be dangerous even though they are 7th on the power rankings list.
8) Zenit St. Petersburg
Even though Zenit is 8th on the list of seeded teams, they are still going to be tough to beat. Including the home game in Russia, it will still be a tough series for the opponent. I would say that all eight teams are the favorites over the unseeded teams but one team has to be 8th so it’s Zenit. Because of UEFA rules amid the unrest between Russia and Ukraine, Zenit will not be drawn against Dynamo Kyiv.
Click below for the unseeded group