The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw will take place this Monday (12:00 CET), and Real Madrid fans will surely want to avoid the toughest sides. After all, that's why teams compete for the first spot in the Group Stage. But, which teams should be easier for Los Blancos? Using Bavarian Football Works' template, we try to answer that question.
The Best Draw: Schalke 04
Real Madrid destroyed the German side almost a year ago, beating them 1-6 at the Veltins-Arena with the best game seen by the BBC yet, and a solid 3-1 home-win as well that most fans will remember because of Jesé Rodríguez's torn ACL. This Schalke team has not improved much even after the addition of Sidney Sam. Julian Draxler, arguably Schalke's best player, can't get healthy, and their defensive line should not be able to stop Real Madrid's attacking trio this time either.
The Worst Draw: Paris Saint-Germain
The French aren't playing well in the Ligue 1, but they performed well against FC Barcelona in this year's Champions League Group Stage. Even though they are not as good as some might think, PSG still have quality players capable of scoring at any time, and that's extremely valuable in a Champions League tie. Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Cavani got better after signing David Luiz away from Chelsea. Just because he's better than Alex. Outsider for the Worst Draw: Manchester City.
The "ugh... not again!" draw: Juventus
Ancelotti's side drew Juventus during last season's Group Stage, and that means Real Madrid would play against Juve four times in 18 months. Furthermore, they're probably one of the toughest sides that Los Blancos could draw, and nobody would want to see Álvaro Morata scoring in the Santiago Bernabéu, right? Other than that, Real Madrid should still go through against La Vecchia Signora.
The dark horse draw: Arsenal
Just how good is this team? We've seen English sides disappointing in the European competition for years, and Arsenal has not been an exception. Still, Theo Walcott and his teammates could be dangerous against Real's full backs. One could also argue that Mesut Özil would visit the Bernabéu with extra motivation to prove how wrong Real were by selling him.
The prospect draw: Bayer Leverkusen
Just like Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen are intriguing. Some football analysts say that the German side should be feared, but their reputation as one of Europe's most exciting teams seems a bit overstated, and it's hard not to see Real Madrid as clear favorites against them.
The "not in January, please!" draw: Shakhtar Donestk
Because who wants to play under the Ukrainian winter? That could be a very dangerous match, and they have the quality to create some good chances against Real. Still, it would be crazy not to think that Real Madrid's firepower can easily dismantle their defensive line.