The group stage of the Champions League is undeniably fun and compelling, but it's when the big boys face off in the knockout phase that things really get interesting.
The world's top clubs and domestic champions face off. Many of the world's top players are on display. The matchups you regularly play on FIFA 14 play out in real life. It's brilliant stuff.
With the Round of 16 pairings being announced on Monday, we'll finally see what the draw looks like for the top sides in Europe. Below, you'll find everything you need to know about the Champions League knockout phase draw.
When: Monday, Dec. 16 at 6 a.m. ET (11 a.m. GMT)
Watch: Fox Sports 1; UEFA.com
The Champions League draw is pretty simple. Teams from the seeded pot and unseeded pot are matched together, with the winners from the group stage making up the seeded pot and the runners-up comprising the unseeded.
The one provision is that teams that already played one another in the group stage cannot be paired. Ditto for teams that play in the same domestic league. So, for instance, Arsenal can't be paired with Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United or Chelsea, but every other seeded team is fair game for the Gunners.
Manchester United FC (ENG), Real Madrid CF (ESP), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), FC Bayern Munchen (GER, holders), Chelsea FC (ENG), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Club Atletico de Madrid (ESP), FC Barcelona (ESP)
Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER), Galatasaray AS (TUR), Olympiacos FC (GRE), Manchester City FC (ENG), FC Schalke 04 (GER), Arsenal FC (ENG), FC Zenit (RUS), AC Milan (ITA)
Obviously, defending Champions League titleholders Bayern Munich are once again the favourites. The Bavarians are running away with the Bundesliga and may be even stronger than they were a year ago, with Mario Gotze and Thiago Alcantara now in the fold.
Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are the next likely candidates to earn the title. Their new signings, Neymar and Gareth Bale respectively, have been excellent this season and both sides have stars in spades.
Bayern Munich will repeat as Champions League winners.
Chelsea won the whole thing two years ago and have one of the deepest sides in Europe, while Atletico Madrid have kept pace with Barca and Los Blancos in La Liga play. Borussia Dortmund reached the final a year ago and survived the group of death alongside Arsenal, who are currently atop the Premier League table.
Manchester United have struggled domestically but still have the talent to make a lot of noise in this tournament. Then there is Paris Saint-Germain, who have all of the talent money can buy and won't be an easy out for anyone.
There is also Manchester City, virtually unbeatable at home but shaky on the road and chock-full of talent. It's anyone's guess at what the Citizens will do in the knockout phase.
We could always see a surprise team or two make some noise, but expect one of those 10 teams to win this tournament.