Analysing Liverpool’s potential CL opponents in Round of 16
Defending champions Liverpool qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 stage by overcoming RB Salzburg 2-0 in the last match of their Group E campaign.
One of the favourites to clinch the trophy, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds finished ahead of second-placed Napoli by one point.
Road to knockout stage
It was not a smooth ride for Liverpool, with Napoli giving them a hard time. The champions suffered one of the worst starts to their campaign, losing 2-0 to Napoli in Italy.
After the match against the Naples side, Liverpool floundered a 3-0 lead over Salzburg at home to finally end the match 4-3 in their favour. Once again, Napoli were the troublemakers for Klopp’s unit as they held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw in England.
A loss to Salzburg would have surely pushed them back to the Europa League but Liverpool ensured themselves of a place in the next stage by scoring two goals in the second half.
Having finished first in their group, the Reds will tee off against second-placed units from other pools – barring Napoli as they both belong in the same group.
Also, Liverpool cannot face Chelsea (Group H) and Tottenham (Group B) due to the domestic rule which prevents two teams from the same league being drawn against one another in the last-16. Now, let’s take a look at some of the potential targets that await the defending champions.
Group A: Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid have not had the best campaign in the group stages, as they finished second behind leaders PSG. Nevertheless, the Galacticos have ensured themselves of a spot in the Round of 16.
Group C: Atalanta: The surprise entrants into the knockout stages this season, Atalanta secured a qualifying spot for the first time in history by finishing second in their group. They also created another record by being the only side to lose their first three games and still secure a qualifying berth.
Group D: Atletico Madrid: A victory over Lokomotiv Moscow helped Diego Simeone’s side finish second in the table behind leaders Juventus. The two-time European runners-up once again qualified for the round of 16.
Group F: Borussia Dortmund: Klopp could once again face his former club, who also booked the round of 16 berth by finishing second behind Barcelona.
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Group G: Lyon: The group of minnows witnessed Lyon qualify for the next stage by grabbing the second place behind leaders RB Leipzig.