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Check who can play who in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Draw

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League round of 16 draws occurred at noon CET on Monday, 18 December. It was held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with the UEFA Deputy General Secretary, Giorgio Marchetti, in attendance. The draw highlighted the 16 teams that progressed from the UEFA Champions League group stage, with the knockout phase to hold from mid-February 2024.

Which Teams Qualified?

The group winners and runners-up of the eight groups were the teams that progressed from the group stage, making it 16 teams in total. Each of the 32 teams from the groups played six matches, with three being contested in their home stadium and the other three away.

Group A had Bayern Munich and Copenhagen as winner and runner-up, respectively; Group B had Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven; Group C had Real Madrid and Napoli; while Real Sociedad and Inter Milan qualified from Group D. In Group E, Atletico Madrid and Lazio qualified; Group F had Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain; Group G had the defending champions Manchester City as winners, with RB Leipzig behind them and finally, Group H had Barcelona and Porto.

The Round of 16 Draw

Source: BeSoccer

The Round of 16 draw is done by pitting the seeded (group winners) against the unseeded (runners-up). The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the former hosting the second leg. That way, every team can avoid facing another team from the same national association. Also, a club can’t face an opponent they faced in the group stage.

After the draw, Copenhagen was given Manchester City, while RB Leipzig are to face Real Madrid for the first round of games. The first legs would be played on February 13, with the return leg on March 6. The second set of games would see Lazio taking up Bayern Munich, while  Paris Saint-Germain face Real Sociedad. Both would be contested for the first and second leg on February 14 and March 5, respectively.

Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid battle for the following week of games, while PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund face off. The first leg is played on February 20, and the return leg is played on March 13. The final round of games is between Porto versus Arsenal and Napoli versus Barcelona. They lock horns first on February 21 and square up later for the second leg on March 12.

This is the draw in full:

Team 1Team 21st leg2nd leg
Copenhagen Manchester CityFebruary 13March 6
RB LeipzigReal MadridFebruary 13March 6
Lazio Bayern MunichFebruary 14March 5
Paris Saint-GermainReal SociedadFebruary 14March 5
Inter MilanAtletico MadridFebruary 20March 13
PSV EindhovenBorussia DortmundFebruary 20March 13
Porto Arsenal February 21March 12
Napoli BarcelonaFebruary 21March 12

The Bigger Picture


The 2023-24 UEFA Champions League season would be the last season to feature the current format of 32 teams competing in the group stage. Typically, 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four each, where each team plays three matches at home and three matches away. However, starting next year, UEFA has announced that a new expanded format will be the order of the day.

Four more teams would join the fray, making it 36. The 36 teams would participate in a single league competition, playing eight matches each, half at home and half away. The teams will first be ranked in four seeding pots, each being drawn to play two opponents from each pot, one match at home and the other away.
After the eight matches, the top eight sides would automatically qualify for the round of 16, while the 9th to 24th place would compete in a two-legged knock-out play-off to determine who joins the last 16. The teams ranked 25th or lower get eliminated and don’t get to play in the UEFA Europa League, either.

By- Bolu Ibosiola

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