The group stages of the first-tier European Club competition has come to an end. Premier League champions Manchester City will be keen to know who they will face in the Champions League Last 16. City finished as Group A winners with 12 points out of 6 Matchdays and suffered two losses away from home.
Manchester City played their First Group stage match against RB Leipzig which ended in a 6-3 score-line in favor of the Cityzens. They faced PSG on Matchday 2 away at the Parc des Princes and lost the match after Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi helped the French giants to pick up a 2-0 victory.
They won twice against Club Brugge and defeated PSG during the return fixture at home by 2-1. However, Manchester City suffered a 2-1 loss away to RB Leipzig in their final Group A game on Tuesday. The Cityzens finished at the summit for the sixth time in the last seven years, one point ahead of Paris Saint-Germain who sits in second place.
Manchester City are now a seeded team for Monday’s draw, along with Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool. Meanwhile, defending champions Chelsea are unseeded after finishing second in Group H. While they cannot play against any English side in the next round according to the norms set by UEFA.
POSSIBLE OPPONENTS FOR MANCHESTER CITY FOR THE UPCOMING UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16
Atletico Madrid (Spain)
La Liga champions Atletico Madrid were on the verge of exiting Europe altogether. Their three second-half goals against Porto helped Diego Simeone’s men secure a 3-1 win away on Tuesday night to snatch second place in Group B.
The Spanish outfit are well-acquainted with the knockout rounds of the Champions League. They have advanced from the group stage in eight of the last nine seasons.
However, during this term their performances have been below average in Group B as they lost three and drew one of their six group matches. They finish the group stages with a -1 goal difference. While Atletico have never faced Manchester City in a competitive fixture before.
Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)
Sporting Lisbon booked their berth in the last 16 for the first time since the 2008-09 season. They won three of their six Group C matches to finish above Borussia Dortmund based on their head-to-head record.
Sporting under Ruben Amorim scored 14 goals in their six group stage matches. They have scored more goals than any other team who have qualified for the last 16 by finishing in second place.
The Primeira Liga champions eliminated Man City in the last 16 of the 2011-12 Europa League. Sporting will enter as underdogs into the knockout rounds and they cannot be underestimated.
Inter Milan (Italy)
Defending Serie A champions, Inter Milan are arguably Man City’s strongest potential opponents in the last 16. Inter have advanced from the Champions League group stages for the first time in a decade. They finished behind 13-time champion Real Madrid in Group D.
The Scudetto holders had the chance to snatch the top spot at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night. But the Los Blancos claimed a 2-0 win in the final group game to stay at the summit.
Inter, who have never faced Man City in a competitive fixture, were the last Italian team to lift the Champions League when Jose Mourinho’s side defeated Bayern Munich in the 2010-11 final.
S.L Benfica (Portugal)
Benfica before the last matchday sat third behind European superpowers Bayern Munich and Barcelona in Group E. However they have taken advantage of the hard-fought draw at the Camp Nou on Matchday 5. They picked up a 2-0 win against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday to make sure that they finish second in Group E.
An impressive 3-0 victory at home against Barca in September was their standout result. Darwin Nunez scored a brace to defeat the five-time European winners.
The Eagles are competing in the knockout rounds for the first time in five years. They are considered as one of the teams that the Cityzens could face, alongside their Portuguese rivals Sporting.
Nearly 24 hours after Wednesday’s fixture in Bergamo was postponed due to heavy snow. Villarreal eventually booked their berth in the Round of 16 when they picked up an impressive 3-2 victory away against Atalanta BC.
The Yellow submarine finished second in Group F behind City’s crosstown rivals Manchester United. Unai Emery has guided the La Liga outfit into the last 16 for the first time since 2008-09.
Villarreal last faced the Cityzens in the 2011-12 Champions League group stage. They lost both of their home and away fixtures by an aggregate score of 5-1.
RB Salzburg (Austria)
Red Bull Salzburg has been a surprise package of the Champions League group stages as they became the first Austrian team to qualify for the Round of 16 when they defeated Sevilla 1-0 on Wednesday night to seal second place in Group G.
Matthias Jaissle’s youthful squad claimed 10 points from their six group matches, and have also made a strong start to their Austrian Bundesliga campaign, sitting 12 points clear of their nearest challengers and on course to claim their ninth successive title.
Salzburg’s only previous appearances against Man City were in the 2010-11 Europa League group stage, with the Cityzens winning both encounters by a 5-0 aggregate score.
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