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Ranking Real Madrid’s potential opponents in the Champions League’s Round of 16

Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Real Madrid will be in Pot 2 when the Champions League’s Round of 16 draw takes place on December 11th. That means that they will play the next round against either Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, PSG, Roma or Besiktas. How would Real fare against those teams? Who should they want in the draw? From toughest to easiest, here is the ranking for the draw.

  1. Paris Saint-Germain. OK, they have not been as brilliant as expected this season and reports coming out of France suggest that they are looking to replace coach Unai Emery even before the end of the season. Still, Real Madrid are defending very poorly and they would struggle quite a lot against Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani. Add Julian Draxler or Angel Di Maria to the equation and that would be a very tough draw for Los Blancos.
  2. Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team has improved from last year and are dominating the Premier League. They are comfortable under Guardiola’s style and while Real Madrid have proved that they can also counterattack and let other teams dominate the ball, it would not be easy to stop City’s system right now.
  3. Manchester United. They defend well and Real Madrid are not creating or converting their chances this season. Mourinho would probably park the bus against Madrid and that didn’t work when these two teams met in the UEFA Super Cup last August. Still, that was a different Real Madrid team than the current one, nobody knows why.
  4. Liverpool. They are tough and they play with a lot of intensity. Still, Liverpool would probably concede some goals, Stopping their wingers would be crucial but Los Blancos should at least be able to control the tempo of the game if the midfield can handle Klopp’s pressing system.
  5. Roma. They finished the group ahead of Chelsea and Atletico de Madrid, earning the right of being taken very seriously. Still, they don’t have a big advantage when playing at home and Madrid should once again dominate the game.
  6. Besiktas. Pepe’s return to the Bernabeu would be interesting to watch after his comments about the fans at the Bernabeu. Besiktas would be the easiest draw for Madrid and yet their home-field advantage is huge and Madrid would have to get ready for a very tough atmosphere on the opening leg.

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