December 2, 2021

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Who can United face in the round of 16?

Who can United face in the round of 16?
Skip to Main NavigationSkip to contentManchester United are safely into the draw for the Champions League round of 16 and have already sealed top spot in Group F.Although there are matches taking place on Wednesday, and the final games will be played on 7/8 December, with the Reds at home to Young Boys, a picture…

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United celebrate in Spain.

Manchester United are safely into the draw for the Champions League round of 16 and have already sealed top spot in Group F.

Although there are matches taking place on Wednesday, and the final games will be played on 7/8 December, with the Reds at home to Young Boys, a picture is already emerging of which clubs we could be paired with when the ceremony takes place on Monday 13 December.

So what lies in store for the boys in the knockout stages, which begin in February 2022?

In addition to United, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Liverpool have already won their groups and will, therefore, be in the same pot for the draw.

Chelsea and Juventus have already qualified, despite the Premier League leaders thumping the Serie A outfit 4-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night. The Blues finish at Zenit St Petersburg, needing to at least match Juve’s result at home to Malmo to retain leadership of Group H and ensure the Old Lady are potential opponents for us.

Manchester City can win Group A with victory against Paris Saint-Germain this evening (Wednesday), but the French side look pretty certain to qualify even if they do leave the Etihad Stadium pointless. A home tie with Club Brugge ends their schedule and PSG are currently four points clear of the Belgians.

Porto, Atletico Madrid and, although it’s a slim possibility, AC Milan are vying to finish as runners-up to Liverpool in Group B.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund or Sporting will emerge from second place in Group C. Dortmund need a win over the Lisbon outfit to qualify but, if Sporting win by two or more goals, it is they who will reach the round of 16.

Highlights: Villarreal 0 United 2 Video

Highlights: Villarreal 0 United 2

Enjoy the Ronaldo and Sancho goals that booked our place in the last 16 of the Champions League…

It is still all to play for in Group D as, technically, all four teams could still progress. However, Shakhtar Donetsk look set to miss out and Real Madrid are strong favourites to top the pool, as qualification can be achieved by beating FC Sheriff or drawing their final two games. Internazionale appear a good bet to progress but Sheriff cannot be underestimated after their performances so far in their maiden Champions League campaign.

Barcelona or Benfica will emerge from Group E as potential rivals for United and the Catalans may be grateful Bayern Munich have already secured top spot and could have little to play for at the Allianz Arena on matchday six. As Benfica have the better of the head-to-head with Barca, victory against Dynamo Kiev would knock out the five-time winners if they fail to beat Bayern. However, the Bundesliga giants could seize the opportunity to help eliminate such a superpower, particularly with Robert Lewandowski, like Cristiano Ronaldo, aiming to score in every game in the 2021/22 competition.

Obviously, United cannot meet Villarreal or Atalanta in the next stage, nor any of the English clubs. However, Group G will throw up possible opponents with everything wide open in that section.

Wolfsburg are currently bottom but will qualify if they can beat leaders Lille at home in their final fixture. French champions Lille need only a point from that game to progress but are out if they lose. RB Salzburg are in second place and need to avoid defeat at home to Sevilla in their match. Sevilla have to win to leapfrog the Austrians. 

The round-of-16 draw on 13 December is being staged in Nyon, Switzerland, at 11: 00 GMT. It will be shown live on BT Sport in the UK. The group runners-up will be at home in the first leg of the ties, with the away-goals rule no longer counting.

Teams in bold are those we could face in the round of 16.

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