The draw set up a brutal path for some of the best teams in Europe
After nearly four months off, the UEFA Champions League was back Friday with the draw to set up the rest of the tournament.
With four Round of 16 ties already settled, the other four matches will be settled, before the teams move on to single match quarterfinals, semifinals, and the final August 23 in Lisbon.
The draw set up a brutal path for some of the best teams in Europe, while possibly opening the door for PSG to make a run to the semifinals and final for the first time.
Or did it?
Manchester City still needs to finish off Real Madrid in the RO16, but hold a 2-1 lead on aggregate after the first leg on the road. But the Cityzens, who will find out if they are banned from UEFA competitions for the next two seasons on Monday, may then have to meet up with Juventus in the quarterfinals, and possibly Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the semifinals.
On the other side, PSG will get Atalanta, while RB Leipzig will take on Atlético Madrid, with the winners meeting in the semifinals.
I would think that the semifinal winner of the Manchester City/Real Madrid tie and Bayern Munich will end up hoisting the trophy, as they are basically the three best teams in the world at this moment.
But if Atalanta can get by PSG, look out! This team is dangerous.
QF 1 Man. City/Real Madrid (City leads 2-1 on agg.) vs. Juventus/Lyon (Lyon leads 1-0 on agg.)
QF 2 RB Leipzig vs. Atlético Madrid
QF 3 Barcelona/Napoli (1-1 on agg.) vs. Bayern Munich/Chelsea (Bayern leads 3-0 on agg.)
QF 4 Atalanta vs. PSG
Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 3
Winner QF 2 vs. Winner QF 4
With the news Thursday that Turner and B/R Live had relinquished their rights to broadcast the rest of the tournament (HALLELUJAH!!!), CBS is now the sole rights provider for the next four years. Whether that means games will be on CBS, or on CBS All-Access, is still to be determined, but now both UEFA tournaments have a new home.
There is a clear pick for Match of the Quarterfinal Round, and it will pit PSG against Atalanta.
PSG is the new favorite to win the tournament, because of the perceived easier path to the final than the other top sides. But do not sleep on this Atalanta side. There will be plenty of goals in this contest, and that suits both teams. PSG will be a heavy favorite, but should not be. I would not be stunned to see the Italian side make a run to the final.
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Bayern Munich (+375)
Manchester City (+375)
Atlético Madrid (+800)
FC Barcelona (+900)
RB Leipzig (+2000)
Real Madrid (+3300)
THE PICK: Bayern Munich (+375)
LONG SHOT PLAYS:
Real Madrid (+3300)