Real Madrid's Champions League draw is full of danger

Real Madrid's Champions League draw is full of danger... however no one can need to face them within the last sixteen

Real Madrid's shaky begin to the Champions League could also be solely a memory currently, however it may, however, have an impact on their future within the continental competition.

September's fatal 3-0 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain raised serious questions about Los Blancos' credentials in Europe and conjointly brought scrutiny over Zinedine Zidane's job.

At 2-0 down at half-time in their next game, reception to Club Brugge, matters were even additional bleak and although Real came back to draw 2-2, make the Round of 16 was no guarantee at that time.

A difficult  1-0 win away to Galatasaray, including a heroic show from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, came next and brought calm. And it's been largely clear sailing since.

After a 6-0 thrashing of the Turkish outfit reception, Zidane's aspect dominated however had to accept a 2-2 draw with PSG at the Santiago Bernabeu and finished type A with a 3-1 win away to Club Brugge on Wed night.

Even beating PSG wouldn't are enough to win the cluster as Los Blancos finished 5 points behind the Parisians which suggests that a troublesome draw awaits the 13-time winners on a weekday.

Madrid cannot meet PSG within the Round of 16 once sharing a gaggle with the French champions, whereas they'll conjointly avoid the 2 Spanish sides that lidded their various groups: urban center and Valencia.

That leaves six doable rivals for Real: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, and Rb Leipzig.

One of those stands out, of course, and already the conspiracy theorists square measure with confidence predicting that Madrid is paired with Rb Leipzig within the Round of 16.

It would not be a straightforward tie, however, the German aspect came out on prime during a fairly even cluster during which all four groups were separated by simply four points.

Madrid would be huge favorites during a tie against Leipzig, however, their alternative 5 doable rivals within the Round of 16 would gift an amazing take a look at to their Champions League ambitions.

Bayern advanced to the knockout section with six wins, a goal distinction of +19 and therefore the best cluster stage performance ever is seen. Liverpool square measure the defensive champions and square measure in domineering kind within the Premier League.

City stays fantastic and should find yourself focusing their energies on Europe once falling behind the Reds domestically. And Juventus, semiconductor diode by Real legend Cristiano Ronaldo, have lost just one game all season.

Zidane, on the way to the 3 Champions League wins throughout his initial spell as Real Madrid coach between 2016 and 2018, beat all of these teams: Bayern within the quarter-finals in 2016-17 and within the semis in 2017-18, Liverpool within the 2018 final, city within the 2016 semi-finals, Juventus within the 2017 final and the last eight the subsequent season.

Bayern's inconsistencies within the Bundesliga would possibly build them the additional enticing of the four, though their kind in Europe has been spectacular. however Liverpool square measures a lot of stronger since Kyiv, City's semi-final loss to Real predated Pep Guardiola and if Real Madrid meets Juventus, Ronaldo is on the alternative team now around.

"If we tend to get Liverpool, we are going to knock them out," Zidane said with a smile once the 3-1 win in Brugge, that arrived thanks to goals from Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric.

And he additional, additional seriously: "We cannot do something regarding the draw."

Under the Frenchman, Real finished second in their cluster in each 2016-17 and 2017-18, occurring to win the Champions League each time, eliminating Napoli and PSG severally within the Round of 16.

Leipzig aside, the draw presents serious difficulties for the 13-time winners. Zidane won't have needed to play Bayern, Liverpool, city or Juventus therefore shortly within the Champions League, however, that's the probability currently.

On the flip aspect, though, Real Madrid has improved infinitely since their early-season struggles.

Their eye has been remodeled by the emergence of Fede Valverde, their attack reinvigorated by the performances of 18-year-old Rodrygo (who scored an incredible volley against Club Brugge), Courtois' confidence reconditioned, Eden Hazard subsidence (and though wounded, he is back for the knockout rounds) and a collective improvement that has brought belief back once more.

Since defeat to Mallorca in October, Zidane has been clear regarding what he needs and Real's recent kind has been spectacular. And against PSG, despite the draw, Zidane's side played their best soccer during a long, long time.

Los Blancos should currently be thought of genuine candidates to win the Champions League and in Monday's draw, no alternative side can need to be paired against them either.

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