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UEFA Champions League

Champions League last-16 draw pots: Who could Liverpool, Real Madrid & top teams face in knockouts?

9:25 PM SGT 12/12/19
Champions League last-16 knockout draw
The biggest clubs from around Europe made their way through the group stage with the draw for the first knockout round set to be made on Monday

With the Champions League group stage concluded, Europe’s biggest clubs are eagerly anticipating the draw for the first knockout round.

The last-16 draw is due to be made on Monday, December 16 from UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland at 11am GMT / 6am ET.

Likely contenders Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Manchester City, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all made it through the group stage, with Ajax and Inter the biggest clubs to miss out.

For the first time in the Champions League era, only the traditional ‘big-five’ leagues – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga – are represented in the last 16.

But how does the Champions League last-16 draw work, and who can each team face? Goal explains all.

  1. How does the Champions League draw work?
  2. What are the pots for the Champions League last 16 draw?
  3. Which sides could the top teams be drawn against?

How does the Champions League draw work?

The 16 qualified teams are split into two groups of eight; eight seeded, and eight unseeded.

The eight winners from the group stage are seeded, with the teams qualifying in second unseeded.

Ties are decided by drawing one ball from each pot, drawing a group winner against a runner-up.

Teams cannot be drawn against sides they already played in the group stage, or against sides from the same national association.

The seeded group winners will play at home in the second leg of each draw.

What are the pots for the Champions League last-16 draw?

Seeded - group winners Unseeded - group runners-up
Barcelona Atalanta
Bayern Munich Atletico Madrid
Juventus Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool Chelsea
Manchester City Lyon
Paris Saint-Germain Napoli
RB Leipzig Real Madrid
Valencia Tottenham

Which sides could the top teams be drawn against?


Jurgen Klopp’s reigning champions are seeded as group winners, having topped Group E ahead of Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk.

With Napoli and two English sides in the unseeded pot, there are five remaining teams who could be heading to Anfield: Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, and 2018 winners Real Madrid.

With confidence running high on Merseyside, a chance for revenge for Liverpool’s final defeat two years ago in Kiev may well be just what fans are hoping for.

Real Madrid

Beaten 3-0 on the opening day by PSG, Madrid couldn’t overhaul the French giants in Group A and thus face a tricky draw as an unseeded team.

Zinedine Zidane’s side could be drawn against any of the following: Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Juventus, Manchester City or RB Leipzig.

Whatever the draw, Madrid’s tie looks like being a fascinating one.


Drawn in this year’s group of death with Dortmund, Inter and Slavia Prague, Ernesto Valverde’s side managed to wrap up top spot before the final round of fixtures.

Qualified as group winners, they could therefore face: Atalanta, Chelsea, Lyon, Napoli or Tottenham.

Barca against Chelsea is always a story – but what a draw that could be for Champions League debutants Atalanta.

Manchester City

Struggling in the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to go all out to secure the title that has eluded them in Europe.

With double the points of second-placed Atalanta, they won Group C at a canter and could face any of these sides: Atletico, Dortmund, Lyon, Napoli or Real Madrid.

Whether City can put their domestic troubles to one side and mount a serious challenge in Europe remains to be seen.

Bayern Munich

All isn’t well in Bavaria either, with Bayern faltering in a title defence of their own.

Nevertheless, they tore through Group B with a perfect record of six wins from six, and could face any of these sides as a reward: Atalanta, Atletico, Chelsea, Lyon, Napoli or Real Madrid.

Bayern against Madrid is one of the absolute glamour ties in the Champions League.


The 2012 champions are back under Frank Lampard, whose cavalier young side should provide entertainment against whichever side they’re drawn to face.

They were just edged out of top spot in Group H by Valencia, and as a result will face one of the following: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, PSG or RB Leipzig.

Chelsea against Bayern would, of course, be a replay of that 2012 final.


Maurizio Sarri’s side are locked in a Serie A title tussle with Inter, but they managed to find the time to top Group D with just two points dropped along the way.

With Atletico, Bayer Leverkusen and Lokomotiv Moscow vanquished, next on their list could be: Chelsea, Dortmund, Lyon, Real Madrid or Tottenham.

After reaching two finals in three years, Juve have gone out at the quarter-final stage in both of the last two seasons.


Jose Mourinho knows how to win the Champions League, but he will have to come up with something special if he is going to do it this season.

Beaten home and away by Bayern Munich, Spurs nonetheless qualified ahead of Olympiacos and Red Star Belgrade with room to spare, and could face: Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, RB Leipzig or Valencia.

Mourinho does love facing Barcelona.


With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on song now both are fit, PSG look a real threat after an excellent group stage.

The only points they dropped were in a comeback draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, but they will have to prove they can do it under the pressure of a knockout tie against one of the following: Atletico, Atalanta, Chelsea, Dortmund, Napoli or Tottenham.

Last season of course brought that famous last-16 defeat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.