At first glance, it may not look like the most compelling match-ups. Look a little further, these could be a lot of fun.
Here’s a look at winners and losers of the draw.
Winner: the Spanish press
Assuming Neymar is fit to play, the Spanish media will have a field day with him going back to Camp Nou. Some of Lionel Messi’s early frustrations with Barca was their inability to get Neymar back in the fold.
Also, this match-up feels like it’s between two teams who will look MUCH different in a year. Expect a feeding frenzy in the media.
Will they even be able to field a team by February? RB Leipzig is one of the two teams they probably wanted to avoid (Atleti being the other). Regardless, Liverpool are still heavy favorites (-500) to advance. This is one of only two match-ups between two teams in the top 10 of ELO (Liverpool 2, RBL 7). Not exactly a hot take, but this one is the best overall match-up.
Winner: Bayern Munich’s chances of repeating
Lazio was definitely tops on the list of teams that group winner’s wanted to draw. The German giants should cruise into the quarterfinals.
Atleti may be as bad of a match-up for a young Chelsea side as any team in this entire draw. Oddsmakers agree, as Atletico Madrid are slight favorites to advance (-112 to -118). Sure, Diego Simeone may be losing his hair. But he may not lose a lot from this match-up.
Winner: Everyone hoping to see City flame out in the quarterfinals again
At -835, City are the biggest favorite to advance. The overrated and out of their minds 538 have them as the clear front-runner to win the UCL (over Bayern! Wtf!). That sets the stage for their inevitable capitulation in the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid are -400 to advance over Atalanta (-300). Who knows what version of these teams will show up on a match-by-match basis.
But chaos also will apply to many of these contests. Given injuries, a packed fixture list, and the potential of some clubs allowing fans with others won’t, do not expect a chalky Round of 16 this season.
WHERE TO BET THE 2020-21 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania.