Saturday 18 November 2017

In the pot to face Arsenal or Chelsea


Manager: Leonid Slutsky

Star man: Seydou Doumbia

Best finish: Quarter-finals, 2009-10 Odds to win: 80/1 Reached last 16 after late winner at Internazionale and boast a number of internationals, led by Russia goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev. Ivorian Doumbia scored five-in-five in group stages.


Manager: Heiko Vogel

Star man: Xherdan Shaqiri

Best finish: Last 16, 2002-03, 2011-12

Odds to win: 100/1

Victory over Manchester United saw them replicate the achievement of Christian Gross' side a decade earlier. Precocious talent Xherdan Shaqiri, a 20-year-old winger who scored against England last year, and the ageing Marco Streller and Alexander Frei provide attacking impetus.


Manager: Massimiliano Allegri

Star man: Thiago Silva

Best finish: Winners, 1962-63, 68-69, 88-89, 89-90, 93-94, 2002-03, 06-07

Odds to win: 18/1

Seven-time winners finished behind Barcelona, but attacking trio of Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes them one to avoid. Went out to Manchester United and Tottenham in last two seasons, but also put United out in 2005 and 2007, as well as beating Liverpool in the 2007 final.


Manager: Rémi Garde

Star man: Bafetimbi Gomis

Best finish: Semi-finals, 2009-10

Odds to win: 74/1

Struggling domestically, but qualified ahead of Ajax for the last 16. Few goals before hitting seven in their last game, but will not pose the threat of previous incarnations. Bafetimbi Gomis provides main attacking threat.


Manager: Luciano Spalletti

Star man: Roman Shirokov

Best finish: Last 16, 2011/12

Odds to win: 66/1

First time past group stage for Russian side, but tasted success in Uefa Cup in 2009. Midfielder Roman Shirokov's goals proved inspiration for Spalletti's side, who secured qualification with a hard-won point at Porto.


Manager: Walter Mazzarri

Star man: Edinson Cavani (right)

Best finish: Last 16, 2011-12

Odds to win: 28/1

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani has attracted interest from all over Europe and along with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik provides one of Europe's most formidable counter-attacks. Also impressive defensively, with Paulo Cannavaro, brother of Italian World Cup winner Fabio.


Manager: Didier Deschamps

Star man: Mathieu Valbuena

Best finish: Winners, 1992-93

Odds to win: 50/1

Didier Deschamps' side possess an abundance of flair, with the diminutive talent of Mathieu Valbuena paired with Andre Ayew and Loic Remy all attracting Premier League suitors. A defence including former Liverpool full-back Djimi Traoré conceded just four goals in the group stages.


Manager: Robin Dutt

Star man: Simon Rolfes

Best finish: Finalists, 2001-02.

Odds to win: 80/1

The re-signing of Michael Ballack has helped galvanise the German side on their return to the Champions League. Entering the knockouts for the first time since 2005, the German side are not particularly pleasing to watch, defensive midfielder Rolfes a main influence.

*Cannot be drawn against Arsenal

**Cannot be drawn against Chelsea

Irish Independent

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