Champions League draw: Ranking the 16 sides left from 'Winners' to 'Absolutely no chance'

Champions League trophy

The draw for the last-16 of the Champions League didn’t exactly go to plan.

UEFA completely messed up by accidentally drawing Villarreal with Manchester United, despite the two sides being in the same group.

Then, they failed to put United’s ball in the pot to potentially face Atletico Madrid - instead picking Liverpool’s ball who shared a group with the Spanish side.



There was no alternative but to re-do the entire draw.

A reminder of the draw can be found below:

  • Salzburg vs Bayern Munich
  • Sporting Lisbon vs Manchester City
  • Benfica vs Ajax
  • Chelsea vs Lille
  • Atletico Madrid vs Manchester United
  • Villarreal vs Juventus
  • Inter Milan vs Liverpool
  • PSG vs Real Madrid

The group stages have sorted the contenders from the pretenders and we now have 16 of the best sides in Europe to compete in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition.

But who is going to win it following the draw for the last-16?

Well, we’ve decided to rank the remaining sides on their chances of winning the competition taking the draw into account.

So, using Tiermaker, we’ve placed the remaining 16 sides from ‘Absolutely no chance’ to ‘Winners’.

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Absolutely no chance

Inter Milan

We’re predicting these six sides will be crashing out at the last-16 stage.

Sporting face Manchester City, while Lille, who did win their group, play Chelsea.

Villarreal have slightly more hope but we think Juventus may just get the better of them.

Inter Milan went from facing Ajax to playing Liverpool - a tie in which we don’t think they will overcome.

The redraw was actually relatively kind to Benfica, who drew Real Madrid initially but they now have to play Ajax. Even if they overcome the Dutch side, we don’t think they’re good enough to challenge.

Meanwhile, Salzburg went from playing Liverpool to facing Bayern Munich. We’re not quite sure what’s worse…

Inter Milan

Need a miracle

Manchester United
Real Madrid

The redraw was slightly kinder to Man United, who avoided Paris-Saint Germain and will now play Atletico Madrid.

We back Juve to scrape past Villarreal but they’re simply not good enough to go much further this season.

Real Madrid face PSG in the last-16 and, while it’s not a foregone conclusion, we think the French side are just about favourites.

As mentioned, we reckon Ajax will overcome Benfica but can they go much further? We don’t think so.

Manchester United

Should reach the quarters

Paris Saint-Germain
Atletico Madrid

As we say, we’re backing PSG over Real Madrid but we feel they’ll come unstuck against some of the better sides who are more organised.

Atleti will be the favourites to beat Man United but, depending on the draw, we think the quarter-finals is about as far as they can go. After all, they struggled through their group.


Genuine contenders

Manchester City

The three English sides will really fancy their chances of going all the way this season.

All three should progress to the quarters with Liverpool playing Inter Milan, Chelsea facing Lille and Manchester City drawing Sporting. From then, it’s the luck of the draw. If they avoid each other, and Bayern Munich, they will be favourites to reach the semi-finals.



Bayern Munich

We can’t look past Bayern Munich this season. They just don’t seem to have a weakness in their side. And after they draw arguably the easiest opponent in the last-16 draw, Salzburg, they should already be eyeing up the last-eight.

Bayern Munich

Final rankings

So, there we have it.

After the shambles of a last-16 draw, we finally have the ties for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

We will have to wait two months for the competition to return, with the first leg of ties taking place in mid-February.

But when it does return, Bayern Munich and three English clubs will really fancy their chances of going all the way.

We can’t wait.

Champions League last-16

Champions League 2021/22 Round Of 16 Draw Featuring Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd (The Football Terrace)

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