Each team finishing first will be seeded and cannot face second-place sides from their initial groups. So City will not be drawn against Shakhtar Donetsk, for example.
Seeded teams will also play the second leg of their knock-out match at home – meaning Chelsea will be at Stamford Bridge for their first-leg – while sides from the same country are not eligible to play each other in the last-16.
The first-legs are scheduled for February 13/14 and 20/21, with the return fixtures March 6/7 and 13/14.
The signs are there that this Madrid side are starting to waver. They may have been the first team to successfully defend the European Cup in the Champions League format but they are languishing in fourth in La Liga and finished behind Tottenham in Group H. They may not be as fearsome to draw as they have been in previous years.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Manchester United, PSG, Manchester City, Roma, Liverpool, Besiktas.
Ernesto Valverde’s side went unbeaten in Group D, avoiding the humbling at the hands of Juventus like they had last year. With Ousmane Dembele returning from injury at the turn of the year there could be another level to come from the La Liga leaders.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Basle, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto.
Jose Mourinho’s side breezed through into the last-16 with five wins in Group A. A minor hiccup occurred in game five, when they were beaten 1-0 by Basle in Switzerland but it only ever delayed the inevitable. A comeback 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday saw them top the group by three points.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid.
The 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge, coinciding with Roma’s 1-0 victory over Qarabag, meant Antonio Conte’s side advanced into the last 16 in second place. PSG or Barcelona – who Chelsea had numerous memorable showdowns with during the tenures of Mourinho and Roberto Di Matteo – will be the teams to avoid while Besiktas – and a trip to Turkey – is never straightforward.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Besiktas
Pep Guardiola’s men won five of their group games – only stumbling at the last hurdle against Shakhtar – conceding only five goals in the process. Under Guardiola’s guidance, City are one of the favourites to win the competition overall and no side will favour drawing them in the knock-out stages. Although a showdown with two-time defending champions Real Madrid will not be welcomed by anyone in the blue half of Manchester, either.
POTENTIAL OPPONENT: Basle, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Porto, Real Madrid.
Like their season overall, Jurgen Klopp’s side made life harder for themselves than necessary. Surrendering a 3-0 lead in Seville meant that they approached the final match against Spartak Moscow ‘like a cup final’, according to captain Jordan Henderson. Still, they advanced in first place in some style and didn’t lose a game. Anfield on European nights makes things harder for any opponent they come up against, as proved by their 7-0 drubbing of Spartak Moscow.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Basle, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid.
Mauricio Pochettino has done superbly to guide Tottenham out of the most demanding of groups in this year’s tournament, also sealing first place with a game to spare. A win and a draw over Madrid consigned the holders to send place in the group and while Spurs had a nightmare in last season’s competition, are a force to be reckoned with this time around.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Basle, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto.
Despite losing their last group game 3-1 to Bayern Munich, they progressed as Group B winners due to their head-to-head record against the German side. They crave their first European title and with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe leading their attack, they are one of the favourites this season.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Basle, Chelsea, Juventus, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Porto, Real Madrid.
They look to be returning to the form they are synonymous with after sacking Carlo Ancelotti in September. One of the runners-up who all the group winners want to avoid.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Manchester United, Roma, Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester City, Besiktas, Tottenham.
Finishing second to Barcelona is nothing for the Italian side to be ashamed of, despite them getting to the final last year. They might not be having it all their own way in Serie A this season but Paulo Dybala and Co are distinguished opponents for anyone.
POTENTIAL OPPONENTS: Manchester United, PSG, Liverpool, Manchester City, Porto, Besiktas, Tottenham.