Even before playing against Brugge in the last game of the group stage of the Champions League, Real Madrid know their possible rivals in the last 16 round in February. Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus and RB Leipzig are the clubs that Los Blancos could face in winter for a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Real Madrid didn’t perform well in the group stage this year, so they ended up second, behind PSG. This is why they will have to face the top of the groups, which this year mean really difficult teams. Dortmund, Lyon or Napoli are in the second pot, dangerous potential rivals, but much easier than the ones Real Madrid could actually face.
The easiest one in that pot would be RB Leipzig. The German side is not use to play in this round of the competition, so it’s the favourite one for Real Madrid fans. However, last season Los Blancos faced Ajax, who was supposed to be a comfortable rival and they ended up thrashing Los Blancos at Bernabéu and reaching the semi-finals of the competition after beating Juventus.
The other rivals would be very tough. Liverpool are, of course, the worst rival as they are right now the best team in the continent and the trophy host. Manchester City, with the Premier League title almost impossible, will focus on the European trophy, but they tend to fail every year, so it wouldn’t be a terrible choice. Finally, Juventus and Bayern Munich are not at their best right now, but they are always very dangerous and with experience, so it wouldn’t be a pleasant journey.
However, it’s still very early to know how the teams will be in February. Real Madrid have experienced themselves this situation as they were a really poor team back in December and a strong team in February, able to kick PSG out of the competition to claim the title again. With Zizou everything is possible.