A look at the teams in the Champions League round of 16
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 13, 2018 09:51 AM
Juventus players celebrate at the end of the Champions League group H soccer match between Juventus and Valencia at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
LONDON (AP) — A look at the teams who have qualified for the Champions League knockout stage ahead of Monday's draw in Nyon, Switzerland, for the round of 16:
Barcelona — Led by Lionel Messi, the Spanish giants went unbeaten through a tough group. As always, the team is among the main favorites as it tries to win a sixth title, and first since 2015.
Bayern Munich — The German powerhouse is having an uncharacteristically poor season domestically, but those struggles haven't carried over to the Champions League. Went undefeated through the group stage and still has the firepower to beat anyone over two legs.
Borussia Dortmund — The German club is having a great season, holding a seven-point lead in the Bundesliga and topping its group on goal difference ahead of Atletico Madrid. Looking for its first Champions League title since 1997, having lost in the final in 2013.
Juventus — The Italian champions finished ahead of Manchester United in Group H despite losing its last two group matches. A two-time European Cup winner, Juventus has lost the last five finals it made — including in 2015 and 2017.
Manchester City — Having conquered the Premier League last season, coach Pep Guardiola's main target is now to deliver a first European triumph to the blue half of Manchester. Many view this City team as the best in the world, but the club has only made it past the quarterfinals once.
Paris Saint-Germain — The big-spending French club is still looking for an elusive Champions League triumph to firmly establish itself among the European elite, having dominated domestic competitions in recent years. Led by Brazil's Neymar and France star Kylian Mbappe, this could be its best chance yet.
Porto — The two-time European Cup winner isn't considered among the favorites but was the only team to get 16 points in the group stage, albeit against fairly light opposition. Won the title in 2004 under Jose Mourinho and could be poised for another deep run.
Real Madrid — The three-time defending champion has been inconsistent this season but still clinched the group with a game to spare. Even without Cristiano Ronaldo, the record 13-time European Cup winners can never be counted out on the biggest stage.
Ajax — The Dutch club is back in the Champions League after a four-year absence as it tries to reclaim its former status as one of Europe's top teams. A four-time European champion — including three straight titles in the 1970s — it probably doesn't have a realistic chance of adding to that total this season.
Atletico Madrid — Back in the knockout stage after finishing third in its group last year and going on to win the Europa League. Diego Simeone's team is always dangerous in knockout competitions thanks to its stingy defense and reached the final in 2014 and 2016 — both times losing to rival Real Madrid.
Liverpool — Having reached the final last year, Juergen Klopp's side needed a tense 1-0 win over Napoli in the last round just to advance. Has struggled badly away from Anfield in Europe and will need to make full use of its home games in order to make a deep run.
Lyon — Advanced thanks to a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk in the last round after a strange group campaign. After beating Manchester City away in the first game, it was held to five straight draws.
Manchester United — The Champions League may be the only hope for Jose Mourinho's team to salvage what has so far been a disappointing season, with United languishing in sixth place in the Premier League. Advanced thanks to a surprising win at Juventus that showed it can still beat top teams, but this United is a far cry from the sides that were perennial title contenders under Alex Ferguson.
Roma — Clinched second place in its group with a game to spare but has been ravaged by injuries lately and is on a five-game winless streak in all competitions. Will need players to get healthy before the next round to have any chance.
Schalke — Finished second in arguably the easiest group and will be an underdog in the next round regardless of which team it is drawn against. Was knocked out in the round of 16 on its last three attempts and it would be surprising to see that streak end.
Tottenham — The London club scraped through by the thinnest of margins thanks to a late equalizer at Barcelona in the final round. Was knocked out by Juventus in the round of 16 last season and will be hoping for an easier draw this time.