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With the group stages long overdue and dusted, we are heading towards the end of this season’s Champions League.
Most of Europe’s big hitters advanced to the knockout stages of Europe’s top club competition, though it wasn’t without setbacks, as Real Madrid left late to book their place in the round of 16 and Manchester United entered the Europa League.
In a season where it seems like absolutely anything can happen, we’ve qualified the remaining 16 teams in the Champions League and picked the team that we think is best equipped to lift our ears in May.
Porto have struggled this season and are well off the beat in the race for the Primeira Liga title this season.
They qualified from Group C in second place, although in reality both Marseille and Olympiacos hardly seemed to offer them a challenge.
Sergio Conceiçao’s team is in bad shape at the moment and is not expected to disturb the later rounds of the competition.
Marca Rose recently announced that he will be joining Borussia Dortmund next season, so he will be desperate to sign in style and try to break into the competition.
If he wants to do that, he will have to beat a Manchester City team that is flying right now, and Mönchengladbach’s league form does not suggest they are up to the task.
The Bundesliga team made it to the round of 16 and it would take a small miracle to advance to the quarter-finals, given their current league position of seventh.
Simone Inzaghi is a superior manager who is capable of planning a win over any team, although Lazio’s form has been somewhat uneven this season.
After reaching the round of 16 in a not particularly difficult group, Lazio have faced the unenviable task of facing reigning champions Bayern Munich.
Good luck with that, Simone.
How can a team that owns superstars like Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland be so high on the list? Well, they’ve been pretty rubbish this season, that’s how.
It seems that Dortmund can’t bring their campaign to life, and while they have the people capable of upsetting any team on the planet, right now they just don’t look like the Dortmund we’ve grown used to.
Sevilla have been steadfast in their affairs in La Liga this season and appear to be well prepared to secure their place in the Champions League next season after winning five in a row.
Julen Lopetegui’s team is a well-trained unit and they will love their chances against an underperforming Dortmund side in the last 16, although they may lack the necessary quality when facing some of the greats.
This season, Atalanta have not been the free-scoring team we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men face the daunting task of a round of 16 tie with Real Madrid, but Los Blancos are far from the team they once were, and in two matches you never know.
Few clubs in European football are falling as fast as Barcelona right now.
The La Liga title race is likely already over, they are in financial ruin, they still need to sell more players to generate cash and the best player in their history looks set to leave this summer.
Still, you never know while Lionel Messi is still at the club.
It would be easy to scoff at Chelsea and wonder why they aren’t at the bottom of our list given their performance so far this season, but Thomas Tuchel seems to be bringing out the best in his stuttering side.
Confidence will certainly start to grow in the Blues locker room, and the decision of their hierarchy to show Frank Lampard the door may have come at just the right time for them to step into the Champions League.
Julian Nagelsmann has done an incredible job at RB Leipzig, and it would not be a surprise to see him move to one of the European giants in the near future.
For now, he’s at the helm of the Bundesliga squad and he’s making a good fist by giving Bayern Munich something to think about in this season’s title race.
Leipzig did very well to get out of Group H and will be a threat to anyone.
Real Madrid come to the Champions League.
However, Real Madrid are not Very good.
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. The Whites are still a team full of quality players and, given the experience of Zinedine Zidane and his squad, they will always be a threat.
With Eden Hazard struggling to stay fit and Real’s league form stuttering ‘at best, they don’t seem like the threat they once were and would do well to upset the later rounds.
It’s impossible not to give a team with Cristiano Ronaldo a chance.
That said, Andrea Pirlo’s first season in charge of Juventus is not exactly going to be planned, and the Old Lady appears to have a battle on her hands to even qualify for the Champions League next season.
The Juventus team has several areas that need to be addressed and while they are likely to reach the quarterfinals, they will need to produce something remarkable to be crowned champions.
What’s going on in Liverpool?
Reds fans can make all the excuses they want, they basically haven’t been good enough this season.
They’ll still take a beating considering the talent available to Jurgen Klopp, though with a battle for the top four in the Premier League looking like their top priority, they’re unlikely to repeat their 2019 heroics.
The finalists defeated last year will be desperate to improve this season, although their league form hasn’t exactly been that of champions.
Despite having the people it takes to be crowned Champions League winners, PSG is likely to be in a race for the Ligue 1 title until the end of the season, and that could have an adverse impact on their performance. in the Champions League.
Take one of the strongest defenses and one of the best coaches in Europe, and add a prolific scorer gifted to you by one of your national rivals – it’s no wonder to see Atlético de Madrid at the top of the League.
Diego Simeone is the perfect coach when it comes to knockout competition football, and Atlético could have a big influence in the final rounds of the Champions League this season.
Despite the solid challenge from RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich appear to be making their way to another Bundesliga crown this season, and it’s hard to find fault.
However, star-studded as their squad is, their mid-season exploits at the Club World Cup have done them no favors when you consider their already packed match schedule, and it may well catch up with them. end of the season.
It’s difficult to look beyond Manchester City at the moment.
Pep Guardiola’s team looks pretty unbeatable right now, and with players like Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Agüero returning in the coming weeks, they can only be seen to improve.
City have never lifted the Champions League, although last season’s collapse against Lyon will have hurt and they will be desperate to prove they are the best team in Europe.