The teams left in the Champions League last 16 – ranked

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With the group stages long since done and dusted, we’re heading for the business end of this season’s Champions League.

The majority of Europe’s big hitters progressed to the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition, though it wasn’t without its hiccups, with Real Madrid leaving it late to book their place in the round of 16 and Manchester United dropping into the Europa League.

In a season where it seems absolutely anything can happen, we’ve ranked the 16 teams remaining in the Champions League and picked out the side we think is best equipped to lift ol’ big ears in May.

Sergio Conceicao
Sérgio Conceição’s side have been handed a tough tie against Juventus | Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Porto have struggled this season and find themselves well off the pace in this season’s Primeira Liga title race.

They qualified from Group C in second, though in truth both Marseille and Olympiacos barely even looked like offering them a challenge.

Sergio Conceiçao’s side are in poor form at the moment and they won’t be expected to trouble the latter rounds of the competition.

Marco Rose
Marco Rose is in his final season with Monchengladbach | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Marca Rose recently announced he’d be joining Borussia Dortmund next season, so he’ll be desperate to sign off in style and try to go deep into the competition.

If he is to do that he’ll need to overcome a Manchester City side who are flying at the moment, and Monchengladbach’s league form does little to suggest they’re up to the task.

The Bundesliga outfit scraped through to the knockout stages and it would take a minor miracle for them to progress to the quarter-final given their current league position of seventh.

Simone Inzaghi
Simone Inzaghi’s side have struggled in Seri A this season | Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images

Simone Inzaghi is a top manager who’s capable of masterminding a win over any side, though Lazio’s form has been somewhat patchy this campaign.

Having edged their way through to the last 16 from a not particularly difficult group, Lazio have been handed the unenviable task of facing current champions Bayern Munich.

Good luck with that one, Simone.

Stefan Posch, Erling Haaland, Raphael Guerreiro, Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho
Dortmund have struggled in the league this season | Lars Baron/Getty Images

How can a team possessing superstars like Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland be this far up the list? Well, they’ve been pretty rubbish this season, that’s how.

Dortmund just can’t seem to spark their campaign into life, and while they’ve got the individuals capable of troubling any team on the planet, at the moment they just don’t look like the Dortmund we’ve become used to.

Ivan Rakitic
Sevilla look solid again this season | Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Sevilla have been steadily going about their business in La Liga this season and they look well set to secure their place in next season’s Champions League having won five in a row.

Julen Lopetegui’s side are a well-drilled unit and they’ll fancy their chances against an under-performing Dortmund side in the last 16, though they may lack that bit of quality needed when they come up against some of the big boys.

Gian Piero Gasperini's men will be a threat to any side
Gian Piero Gasperini’s men will be a threat to any side | Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

This season, Atalanta haven’t quite been the free-scoring side that we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years, but that’s not to say they aren’t a threat.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men face the daunting task of a last 16 tie with Real Madrid, but Los Blancos are far from the team they once were, and over two legs you just never know.

Lionel Messi
Could this be Lionel Messi’s final season at Barcelona? | Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Few clubs in European football are plummeting as fast as Barcelona right now.

The La Liga title race is likely already over, they’re in financial ruin, they still need to sell more players to generate cash and the best player in their history looks like he may be leaving this summer.

Still, you just never know while Lionel Messi is still at the club.

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel could make a real statement if Chelsea can go deep into the competition | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It would be easy to scoff at Chelsea and wonder why they’re not bottom of our list given their performance so far this season, but Thomas Tuchel looks to be getting the best out of their stuttering squad.

Confidence will undoubtedly be beginning to grow in the Blues dressing room, and their hierarchy’s decision to show Frank Lampard the door may have come at just the right time for them to go deep into the Champions League.

Julian Nagelsmann
Julian Nagelsmann is hot property in European football right now | Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Julian Nagelsmann has done an unbelievable job at RB Leipzig, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him move to one of Europe’s behemoths in the near future.

For now he’s at the helm of the Bundesliga outfit, and he’s making a good fist of giving Bayern Munich something to think about in this season’s title race.

Leipzig did superbly well to emerge from Group H and they’ll be a threat to anyone.

Luka Modric
Luka Modric is looking for his fifth Champions League winner’s medal | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid are the Champions League.

However, Real Madrid aren’t very good.

Alright, so maybe that’s a bit harsh. Los Blancos are still a side packed with quality players and given the experience of Zinedine Zidane and those within their squad they’ll always be a threat.

With Eden Hazard struggling for fitness and Real’s league form stuttering’ at best, they don’t look the threat they once were and they’ll do well to trouble the latter rounds.

SSC Napoli  v Juventus - Serie A
Cristiano Ronaldo is looking to notch yet another Champions League triumph | MB Media/Getty Images

It’s impossible not to give a team with Cristiano Ronaldo in it a chance.

That being said, Andrea Pirlo’s first season in charge at Juventus isn’t exactly going to plan, and the Old Lady look to have a battle on their hands to even qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Juventus’ squad has a number of areas which need addressing and, while they’ll likely make it through to the quarter-finals, they’ll need to produce something remarkable to be crowned champions.

Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah
Liverpool need their misfiring strikers to start scoring if they’re to notch another Champions League triumph | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

What is going on at Liverpool?

Reds fans can make all the excuses they like, they’ve basically just not been good enough this season.

They’ll still take some beating considering the talent available to Jurgen Klopp, though with a battle for a top four spot in the Premier League looking their main priority, they’re unlikely to repeat their 2019 heroics.

Neymar Jr
Neymar will be hoping to go one better than last season | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Last year’s beaten finalists will be desperate to go one better this season, though their league form hasn’t exactly been that of champions.

Despite having the individuals needed to be crowned Champions League winners, PSG are likely to be in a Ligue 1 title race until the end of the season, and that could have an adverse impact on their Champions League displays.

Luis Suarez has been brilliant since signing for Atleti
Luis Suarez has been brilliant since signing for Atleti | Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Take one of the most solid defences and one of the best managers in Europe, and add to it a prolific goalscorer who has been gifted to you by one of your domestic rivals – it’s no surprise to see Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Diego Simeone is the perfect manager when it comes to knockout competition football, and Atletico could have a very big say in the latter rounds of this season’s Champions League.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Tigres UANL - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020
Bayern Munich were recently crowned Club World Cup winners | Colin McPhedran/MB Media/Getty Images

Despite a solid challenge from RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich are looking like steamrolling their way to yet another Bundesliga crown this season, and it’s difficult to pick a fault.

However, as star-strewn as their squad is, their mid-season Club World Cup exploits haven’t done them any favours when you consider their already packed fixture schedule, and it may just catch up on them come the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola will be desperate to bring the Champions League to City | Michael Steele/Getty Images

It’s difficult to look past Manchester City at the moment.

Pep Guardiola’s side look pretty much unbeatable right now, and with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero to return in the coming weeks, you can only see them getting better.

City have never lifted the Champions League, though last season’s collapse against Lyon will have hurt and they’ll be desperate to prove they’re the best team in Europe.

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