UEFA Champions League Draw 2012-13: Ranking Last 16, Predicting Knockout Winners

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UEFA Champions League Draw 2012-13: Ranking Last 16, Predicting Knockout Winners
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The Champions League is down to 16 teams and the clubs will find out their fate in the draw on Thursday. 

With a few talented teams coming through in second, the group winners will have their fingers crossed as matchups are revealed. 

Success and struggles from the previous European fixtures do not matter anymore, and the Champions League knockout stage will feature the highest level of football on the planet. 

Here are all the remaining teams power ranked, with their chances of advancing through to the next round included.

 

1. Barcelona, Spain, Group G Winners 

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Chance to Advance: 99 Percent

There were several fantastic performances from clubs in the group stage, but there is no doubt that Barcelona is still the best squad in the world. It is the team to beat in this tournament, and it will not be facing Real Madrid just yet. Barça’s European campaign will last until spring.

 

2. Real Madrid, Spain, Group D Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 90 Percent

Teams from the same country or the same group cannot face each other in this round, eliminating two of the teams that would give Madrid a serious challenge. The Spanish side is the second-most talented team in the world, and in all likelihood, it will have no trouble pushing past its opponent.

 

3. Manchester United, England, Group H Winners

Chance to Advance: 90 Percent

Nemanja Vidic is returning from injury at an ideal time, and United will be a balanced team in the knockout stage instead of relying solely on its attack. Unless the Red Devils are paired with Madrid, they will cruise into the next round.

 

4. Borussia Dortmund, Germany, Group D Winners 

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Chance to Advance: 90 Percent

The reigning German champions have fallen 12 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, and with a league title nearly out of reach, they will likely be concentrating their efforts solely on winning Champions League. Dortmund has the talent to accomplish this, and the young team is the wild card in this year’s tournament. 

 

5. Bayern Munich, Germany, Group F Winners

Chance to Advance: 85 Percent 

This year’s squad may be even better than the one that narrowly missed out on hoisting last season’s Champions League trophy, but it will still be a monumentally difficult task to return to the finals. Barring a matchup with Madrid, Bayern will be through to the next round.

 

6. Paris Saint-Germain, France, Group A Winners 

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Chance to Advance: 75 Percent 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in remarkable form since moving to the French capitol. He has 19 goals and nine assists in 21 matches between Ligue 1 and Champions League, and in all likelihood, he will be the driving force behind a PSG victory in the first knockout round.

 

7. Juventus, Italy, Group E Winners 

Chance to Advance: 65 Percent

The Italian champions are not one of the powerhouses in this competition, but they are still a disciplined and dangerous side. With experienced players such as Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, losing the opening leg against Juve would likely be a fatal mistake for any club.

 

8. Arsenal, England, Group B Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 50 percent

Arsenal suffered through early-season woes but is continuing to improve. There is still an exciting amount of talent on this team, and the Gunners would have a decent chance to advance against a few of the group winners.

 

9. Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine, Group E Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 40 Percent

Shakhtar proved that it has dangerous attacking talent as it knocked Chelsea out of the tournament, and the Ukrainian side could continue to shock favored teams in the next round. But it will likely be stopped unless it receives a favorable draw.

 

10. Schalke, Germany, Group B Winners 

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Chance to Advance: 45 Percent 

Schalke has not been overly impressive in the Bundesliga, but it has put itself in a favorable position in Europe by beating out Arsenal to win Group B. However, the German side’s chances will drastically decrease if rumors of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s move to the Emirates turn into reality.

 

11. Malaga, Spain, Group C Winners 

Chance to Advance: 45 Percent

Malaga is another weak group winner who will not survive without a decent draw. This is a team that cannot compete with the top clubs in the tournament, and it will certainly not make it past the second knockout round.

 

12. Porto, Portugal, Group A Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 30 Percent

Despite an impressive set of matches in the group stage, Porto will not survive two legs against one of the European giants. The supporters’ hopes that this year will be like the 2003-04 season likely will not last for long.

 

13. AC Milan, Italy, Group C Runners-Up

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Chances to Advance: 20 Percent

Milan may have made it to the knockout stage, but the group play was mostly a painful reminder that the glory days for this club are currently over. The Rossoneri squeaked through in a group that it would have dominated a few years ago.

 

14. Valencia, Spain, Group F Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 15 Percent

It is a testament to the level of competition in La Liga that four Spanish teams are in the knockout stage. But Valencia has endured turmoil this season after firing its manager and does not have the talent to overcome the distractions. 

 

15. Galatasaray, Turkey, Group H Runners-Up

Chance to Advance: 10 Percent

The Turkish champs did not prove to be dangerous in the group stage and are not accustomed to playing against such a high level of competition. Even if Galatasaray gets a favorable draw, it still stands a decent chance at a swift exit.

 

16. Celtic, Scotland, Group G Runners-Up 

Chance to Advance: 5 Percent

Ultimately, 1967 was a very long time ago, and there will be no flashbacks to the Glaswegian glory days this year. While this club may enjoy incredible support at home, a lively crowd will not be enough to spark an upset at this stage in the tournament. 

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