Thursday, December 11, 2008

Champions League - Round of 16

Despite the fact that the Group Stage ended on Wednesday, the draw for the Knockout Round won't be held until Dec. 19. That's like Jessica Alba taking off her shirt, then remebering that she needed to go make a phone call.

It does give us time to pontificate over the possible match-ups, however. If you wanted to match-up the best No. 1's vs. the best No. 2's, it would probably come out something like this:

(Top seeds on the left)
Barcelona vs. Chelsea - one of these teams out in the round will cause heads to roll
Manchester United vs. Inter Milan - Sir Alex vs. The Special One
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid - Chance for Ramos to prove his worth
Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal - Would be some great football, especially if Arsenal gets it together
Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid - Juve already took care of one Madrid team
Roma vs. Lyon - Totti vs. Benzema in a old vs. young matchup
Porto vs. Villareal - Did Man U. not play all that great, or is Villareal for real
Panthianakos vs. Sporting - How about Portugal, two teams in the Group Stages - one first, one second

If you wanted to give the best No. 1's and 2's as easy as possible in the Rd. of 16, it might look like this:

(Top seeds on the left)
Panthianakos vs. Chelsea
Porto vs. Inter (would be interesting for the Special One, and Porto is no pushover anyway)
Roma vs. Real Madrid
Juventus vs. Arsenal
Bayern vs. Villareal
Liverpool vs. Sporting
Manchester United vs. Atletico Madrid
Barcelona vs. Lyon

Nothing super easy (not that it should be at this level), but in these instances I think Barca, Man U and Liverpool can at worst fight their way to close wins. If Barcelona doesn't get Lyon, they will get either Chelsea, Arsenal or Inter. Ouch for somebody. If Inter doesn't get Porto, they get Barcelona, Liverpool, Man. U or Bayern. Anyway you slice it, Inter will be in a featured tie.

Here are all the possible outcomes:

Top seeds
Roma vs. Sporting, Atletico, Villareal, Lyon, Arsenal, Real Madrid
Panthianakos vs. Chelsea, Sporting, Atletico, Villareal, Lyon, Arsenal, Real Madrid
Barcelona vs. Chelsea, Inter, Lyon, Arsenal
Liverpool vs. Inter, Sporting, Villareal, Lyon, Real Madrid
Man U vs. Inter, Sporting, Atletico, Lyon, Real Madrid
Bayern vs. Chelsea, Inter, Sporting, Atletico Madrid, Villareal, Arsenal, Real Madrid
Porto vs. Chelsea, Inter, Atletico Madrid, Villareal, Lyon, Real Madrid
Juventus vs. Chelsea, Sporting, Atletico Madrid, Villareal, Lyon, Arsenal

Second seeds
Chelsea vs. Panthianakos, Barcelona, Bayern, Porto, Juventus
Inter vs. Barcelona, Liverpool, Man U, Bayern, Porto
Sporting vs. Roma, Panthianakos, Liverpool, Man U, Bayern, Juventus
Atletico vs. Roma, Panthianakos, Man U, Bayern, Porto, Juventus
Villareal vs. Roma, Panthianakos, Liverpool, Bayern, Porto, Juventus
Lyon vs. Roma, Panthianakos, Barcelona, Liverpool, Man U, Porto, Juventus
Arsenal vs. Roma, Panthiankos, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus
Real Madrid vs. Roma, Panthianakos, Liverpool, Man U, Bayern, Porto

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