Barcelona and Ronald Koeman have been left facing a nightmare draw in the last 16 of the Champions League. The Catalan giants had been favorites to progress to the knockout stages as winners of Group G but Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to Juve at the Camp Nou saw the Catalan giants pipped at the post.
It’s only Barca’s first defeat in Europe this season but looks like being a costly result. As runners-up, they are now guaranteed to face a group winner in the Round of 16 with some big names in the frame.
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Bayern or Liverpool Up Next?
Barcelona will face either defending champions Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund or Paris Saint-Germain in the next round.
Barca’s last two Champions League exits have come at the hands of Bayern Munich and Liverpool. The Bavarian giants hammered Barca 8-2 in the quarter-finals last season in Lisbon on their way to the title.
Meanwhile, Liverpool famously came from 3-0 down to beat Barca 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the tournament in 2018-19. The Reds also then went on to be crowned European champions.
Barca would surely be keen to avoid both Bayern and Liverpool. The Bundesliga side cruised through their group, which also contained La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, while the Reds also progressed with some comfort and are level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Premier League despite missing some key players through injury.
Manchester City would also provide stiff opposition. A match-up with the Citizens would see Barca come up against former coach Pep Guardiola once again. The Spaniard has enjoyed great success at the Etihad Stadium, winning two Premier League titles and the FA Cup, but success in the Champions League has eluded him since he left Barca in 2012.
PSG are also a possible opponent in a tie that would see Neymar come up against his former team. The Brazilian has been regularly linked with a Camp Nou return during his time with the Ligue 1 club and also admitted recently he’s desperate to play with Lionel Messi again.
A Barcelona versus PSG tie would also bring back memories of 2017’s famous ‘Remontada’. The French champions overcame Barca 4-0 in the first leg in Paris but were then famously beaten 6-1 at the Camp Nou in one of the greatest comebacks the tournament has ever seen.
When is the Champions League Draw?
The draw for the last 16 takes place in Switzerland on Monday at 6 am ET and will see the group winners drawn against the runners-up. Teams who played each other in the same group can’t be drawn together, while clubs from the same national association also can not play each other at this stage.
The last 16 games will be played over two legs and start in February 2021. Group winners also have the advantage of playing at home in the return leg. The second leg tie will take place in March.
UEFA will also make the draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the competition on Monday. The 2020-21 Champions League final is scheduled for May 29 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul in Turkey.