On Monday, the last 16 Champions League teams, including seven former cup winners, will wait for their next opponent as matches for the next stage will get drawn.
Here is how it works: "Two seeding pots have been formed: one consisting of group winners and the other of runners-up. No team can play a club from their group or any side from their own association.”
But Mesut Ozil and his colleagues clearly missed to live up to their potential and lost to SSC Napoli Wednesday night. Therefore they gave up the first seat and have to face a group winner – potentially a better side then, say, Borussia Dortmund’s next opponent. With their late win over Olympique de Marseille the German team snatch up the group’s first place.
Possible opponents for Arsene Wenger are: Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona.
If Arsenal will face the reigning champion and last year’s treble winner Bayern Munich there is a 30% chance that Arsene Wenger will sit on the sideline in quarterfinals wrote German tabloid Bild in their latest issue.
30% to win against the record breaking German team might be a fair assessment. Meanwhile Bild gave Munich’s other four possible opponents less chance for survival. AC Milan 20%, Galatasaray, the side from Istanbul with former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 10%, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and Olympiacos will only have a 1% chance according to Bild to win against Bayern Munich.
So 30% is actually a compliment.
And let’s face it, Ozil’s next match-ups are top-notch teams.
Despite the recent game against Napoli and the first game against Borussia Dortmund, which ended 1-2, Arsenal stepped up recording a pass success rating of nearly 90% and a very high effectiveness quote in front of the goal in Champions League.
Furthermore their defence lead by German international Per Mertesacker is one of the best and a tower of strength going on the road.
Looking forward to the next stage Arsene Wenger said with a smile on his face in his press conference today: “I’m very relaxed and focused and committed.”
images: © michael hilton