Last 16 stand­ing await Euro­pean fate

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER/WORLD OF SPORT -

BARCELONA

Coach: Ernesto Valverde

Star player: Lionel Messi

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015

Chances: Barca have been for­mi­da­ble at times in Europe this sea­son, with the Laliga lead­ers’ un­beaten Group B cam­paign hav­ing fea­tured a 4-0 win over PSV and 4-2 vic­tory at Tot­ten­ham. There ap­pears lit­tle to sug­gest Messi and co are not ready to go all the way.

Odds: 5-1

Key stat: Messi set a new record when he net­ted the eighth Cham­pi­ons League hat-trick in the 4-0 vic­tory over PSV — he has more tre­bles in the com­pe­ti­tion than any­one else, hav­ing sur­passed Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s tally of seven.

BAY­ERN MU­NICH

Coach: Niko Ko­vac

Star player: Robert Le­wandowski

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013

Chances: Bay­ern have had their strug­gles this term but eased through Group E, end­ing up, like Barcelona, with 14 points. Still a force to be reck­oned with.

Odds: 10-1

Key stat: Le­wandowski is the top scorer in this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion with eight goals.

BORUS­SIA DORT­MUND Coach: Lu­cien Favre

Star player: Marco Reus

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1997

Chances: Dort­mund have been im­pres­sive do­mes­ti­cally and in Europe in 2018-‘19. Un­beaten at the top of the Bun­desliga and their Group A re­sults in­cluded a 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid, they will be test for any­one. Odds: 33-1

Key stat: Dort­mund’s Jadon San­cho be­came the sec­ond-youngest English­man to score in the Cham­pi­ons League with his goal in the 40 thrash­ing of Atletico.

JU­VEN­TUS

Coach: Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri

Star player: Cris­tiano Ron­aldo iwin­ners 1985, 1996

Chances: The sum­mer ac­qui­si­tion of five-time win­ner Ron­aldo seemed a clear state­ment of in­tent by Ju­ven­tus in terms of the Cham­pi­ons League, and top­ping Group H has made for a good start.

6-1

Ron­aldo is the high­est scorer in Cham­pi­ons League his­tory — he has net­ted 121 times.

MANCH­ESTER CITY Coach: Pep Guardi­ola

Star player: Ser­gio Aguero

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Semi-fi­nals 2016

Chances: Af­ter a shock 2-1 home loss to Lyon in their opener, City have gone about things pretty ef­fec­tively in Group F, fin­ish­ing with 13 points and thrash­ing Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 en route. Guardi­ola’s men, beaten for the first time in the Premier League this sea­son last week­end at Chelsea, are one of the favourites to lift this tro­phy. 7-2

City’s Riyad Mahrez is joint-top of the list for as­sists in this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion with four, along­side Va­len­cia’s Car­los Soler.

PARIS ST GER­MAIN Coach: Thomas Tuchel

Star player: Ney­mar

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Semi-fi­nal 1995

Chances: PSG fin­ished top hav­ing re­cov­ered from los­ing their first game, 3-2 at Liver­pool — in­deed, they were third af­ter four games be­fore beat­ing the Reds 2-1 and win­ning 4-1 at Red Star Bel­grade. With Ney­mar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edin­son Ca­vani, the Ligue 1 lead­ers have ar­guably the most feared at­tack in Europe.

Odds: 15-2

Key stat: PSG scored most goals in the group stage — 17.

Coach: Ser­gio Con­ce­icao

Star player: Moussa Marega

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1987, 2004

Chances: Porto only dropped two points in Group D, but it was a some­what weak-look­ing pool and one imag­ines they are the team the clubs who fin­ished sec­ond would most like to face in the last 16.

125-1

Keeper Iker Casil­las holds the record for most Cham­pi­ons League ap­pear­ances — 173.

REAL MADRID

Coach: San­ti­ago So­lari

Star player: Luka Mo­dric

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018

Chances: A tur­bu­lent sea­son so far for Real has seen some poor re­sults un­der both Julen Lopetegui and his re­place­ment So­lari. Fourth in Laliga, although the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons topped Group G, they were beaten 1-0 away and 3-0 at home by CSKA Moscow. they are win­ners four times in the last five sea­sons and 13 times in to­tal.

Odds: 10-1

Key stat: The sec­ond CSKA loss was Real’s heav­i­est ever Euro­pean home de­feat.

AJAX

Coach: Erik Ten Hag

Star player: Klaas-jan Hun­te­laar

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995

Chances: Do not look like proper con­tenders, but can cause prob­lems.

Odds: 80-1 Key stat: This is the first time Ajax have pro­gressed from their sec­tion since 2005/06.

ATLETICO MADRID Coach: Diego Sime­one

Star player: An­toine Griez­mann

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Run­ners-up 1974, 2014, 2016

Chances: Sime­one has taken them deep in this com­pe­ti­tion in pre­vi­ous years and could well do so again.

Odds: 20-1

Key stat: Atletico ac­crued the most amount of points of all the sec­ond­placed teams.

LIVER­POOL

Coach: Jur­gen Klopp

Star player: Mo­hamed Salah

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005

Chances: Klopp’s men have the abil­ity to hurt any op­po­si­tion when things are click­ing and Reds fans will be dream­ing of them bet­ter­ing be­ing last term’s beaten fi­nal­ists.

Odds: 10-1

Key stat: Klopp has been a Cham­pi­ons League run­ner-up with Liver­pool and Dort­mund (2012-13)

LYON

Coach: Bruno Ge­n­e­sio

Star player: Mem­phis De­pay

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Semi-fi­nals 2010

Chances: Hav­ing beaten City, Lyon drew all five of their re­main­ing games in Group F. They are fourth in Ligue 1 and look like a favourable club to be drawn against.

Odds: 125-1

Key stat: Lyon con­ceded more goals in the group stage than any other qual­i­fy­ing team (11).

MANCH­ESTER UNITED Coach: Jose Mour­inho Star player: David De Gea

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Win­ners 1968, 1999, 2008

Chances: Beaten well by Liver­pool yes­ter­day, they have looked un­con­vinc­ing a lot of the time in Cham­pi­ons League Group H but the 2-1 win at Ju­ven­tus showed they re­main dan­ger­ous.

Odds: 40-1

Key stat: Mour­inho is look­ing to win the Cham­pi­ons League with a third club, hav­ing tri­umphed with Porto (2004) and In­ter (2010).

ROMA

Coach: Euse­bio Di Francesco

Star player: Edin Dzeko

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Run­ners-up 1984.

Chances: A team with Dzeko up front is al­ways dan­ger­ous but Roma are not fir­ing on all cylin­ders by any means this sea­son. Out­siders for sure.

Odds: 150-1

Key stat: Dzeko is joint third in the top scor­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion so far this sea­son with five goals.

SCHALKE

Coach: Domenico Tedesco

Star player: Na­bil Ben­taleb

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Semi-fi­nals 2011.

Chances: The long­est odds of any team into the last 16 and it is not hard to see why.

Odds: 200-1

Key stat: Schalke re­lied on their de­fence to progress, win­ning three and draw­ing two of their six games de­spite scor­ing only six goals.

Coach: Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino

Star player: Harry Kane

Cham­pi­ons League/euro­pean Cup best: Semi-fi­nals 1962

Chances: Took just one point from their open­ing three games, but dug deep to make it through with a draw in Barcelona. Con­sis­tency is the key is­sue for Po­chet­tino’s side.

25-1

Only four teams have had more at­tempts in the group stages than Spurs (105) but 11 have scored more goals (nine).

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