Following Wednesday’s outcomes, 16 sides have cemented spots within the Champions League knockout stage, and in doing so, relegated eight golf equipment to Europa League standing.
With London giants Chelsea and Arsenal atop the bookmaker’s picks for Europe’s second-tier competitors after topping their respective quartets, here is a have a look at the eight outfits the pair of Premier League rivals may face on the best way to continental glory.
- European honors: European Cup runners-up (1977-78), UEFA Cup runners-up (1975-76)
The one Belgian aspect to seem in two European finals, Jupiler League title holders Membership Brugge drop all the way down to the Europa League after ending third in Group A, seven factors adrift of second-place Atletico Madrid. Regardless of their few Champions League objectives scored (5), Brugge have thrived domestically courtesy of a younger assault that includes Wesley, Siebe Schrijvers, and Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld, and attacking midfielder Hans Vanaken.
Chelsea have performed Brugge on 4 events within the 1971 and 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup, whereas Arsenal have but to face the Belgians in European competitors.
- European honors: Three-time European Cup winners (1963-64, 1964-65, 2009-10), Three-time UEFA Cup winners (1990-91, 1993-94, 1997,1998)
Inter bottled it. With development to the last-16 a close to certainty, Inter misplaced to Tottenham earlier than slumping to a 1-1 draw towards PSV to guide a Europa League berth. Luciano Spalletti’s expenses have gelled after a gradual Serie A begin stemming from a sequence of summer season signings, and Mauro Icardi continues to be a supply of significant late objectives, with all 4 of his European tallies this season coming after the hour mark.
The Blues and Nerazzurri have performed twice competitively, with Inter taking the 2009-10 Champions League last-16 conflict 3-1 on combination. Arsenal and Inter have additionally solely performed twice, splitting the home-and-away ties within the 2003-04 Champions League group stage through the Gunners’ Invincibles marketing campaign.
- European honors: UEFA Cup winners (1988-89)
Like Serie A brethren Inter, Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli appeared poised to advance earlier than sliding from first to 3rd in Group C after Matchday 6 defeat at Liverpool. And like Inter, Napoli are prone to contest bridesmaids’ standing in Italy, however as an alternative of counting on one supply for objectives, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, and Arkadiusz Milik spearhead a trident assault.
Chelsea confronted off twice within the 2011-12 Champions League group levels with Napoli, with both sides registering a win. Arsenal confronted Napoli within the following 12 months’s event, and once more, each groups collected a victory.
- European honors: UEFA Cup winners (1999-2000)
Galatasaray, the document 21-time Turkish champs, secured a Europa League spot regardless of dropping their final three Champions League matches, and potential opponents will likely be chomping on the bit to play the Istanbul outfit. Galatasaray at present sit seventh within the Tremendous Lig, however only a level adrift of second place. And after Fatih Terim led the membership to a stellar second-half run final season, the likeable gaffer’s veteran squad and his most popular 4-2-3-1 arrange could possibly be a handful.
Arsenal will embrace an opportunity to once more face Galatasaray after the Turkish giants defeated them within the 1999-2000 UEFA Cup ultimate. The Gunners have crushed Galatasaray by a 4-1 scoreline in every of their final two conferences. Chelsea have by no means misplaced to Galatasaray in 4 earlier matchups.
- European honors: European Cup winners (1960-61, 1961-62)
Portugal’s most-decorated home aspect have fallen on exhausting instances on the continent, although Rui Vitoria’s lot have some respectable showings in Europe’s second competitors after dropping the 2013-14 Europa League ultimate to Sevilla. Ageless marvel Jonas and Swiss worldwide Haris Seferovic lead Benfica up high, whereas Pizzi pulls the strings in a central midfield function. Defending counter assaults and defending leads have been points for the Lisbon locals.
Chelsea have performed Benfica thrice since 2012, successful all three matches, whereas Arsenal have solely confronted the Eagles twice, pairing a loss with a draw within the 1991-92 European Cup.
- European honors: UEFA Cup winners (2008-09)
European regulars Shakhtar Donetsk narrowly missed out on Champions League development because of Nabil Fekir‘s equalizer for Lyon on Matchday 6, and after conceding 16 instances in six group matches, it was a becoming ending. Semi-finalists within the 2015-16 Europa League and one among two Ukrainian sides to win a continental event, Shakhtar are dominant domestically atop the Ukrainian division with a plus-34 objective differential courtesy of 14-goal man Moraes.
The north London outfit and Shakhtar have break up 4 conferences in Europa, with the final coming within the 2010-11 Champions League group stage. Henrikh Mkhitaryan derby is on the playing cards. Chelsea and the Ukrainians had been grouped collectively within the 2011-12 event, with either side registering one-goal victories.
Czechs Viktoria Plzen have a lot to be happy with after almost taking second spot in Group G from Roma, who they beat 2-1 on Matchday 6 on the Doosan Area. Victories of their final two Champions League outings ought to increase the arrogance amongst Pavel Vrba’s squad, as ought to a nine-match unbeaten run within the Gambrinus League. Ahead Michal Krmencik is the point of interest, and midfielder Ales Cermak is the important thing artistic pressure.
Neither Chelsea nor Arsenal have confronted Plzen in a aggressive fixture,
- European honors: UEFA Cup winners (2003-04), Cup Winners’ Cup winners (1979-80), European Cup runners-up (1999-2000, 2000-01)
On paper, La Liga luminaries Valencia would supply a matchup each London sides wish to keep away from. In actuality, Los Che have been poor this 12 months, each in Spain and within the Champions League. Marcelino’s lot gifted Manchester United a last-16 spot because of a limp assault, one thing that has additionally plagued the membership domestically, with only a dozen objectives scored in 15 matches for the 15th-placed aspect. Nevertheless, Valencia would not concede a lot both, posting even objective differentials in each competitions.
Arsenal and Valencia have performed 5 continental clashes, together with the 1979-80 Cup Winners’ Cup ultimate that the Spaniards gained on penalties. Valencia has by no means misplaced to Chelsea, successful three Champions League matches to go along with a treble of attracts.