CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Cristiano Ronaldo looms as Real Madrid face tough last-16 draw

As things stand, Real Madrid are facing a difficult draw in the first knockout round of the 2019/20 Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo looms as Real Madrid face tough last-16 draw
MARCO BERTORELLO AFP

As things stand, Real Madrid are in line for a tough Champions League last-16 draw.

After Club Brugge's 1-1 draw with Galatasaray ensured Madrid's qualification before they took to the field against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Zinedine Zidane's men had to settle for second place in Group A when the French side produced a late comeback to hold them to a 2-2 stalemate at the Bernabéu.

Madrid can so far face Bayern, Man City or Juve in last 16

With the last-16 pots still to be finalised, Madrid's qualification as runners-up has so far left the 13-time European champions with three potential opponents in the first knockout round, all of which would represent a huge challenge: Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Juventus, the winners of Groups B, C and D, respectively.

All three have enjoyed smooth progress through this term's group stage. With one matchday still to play, Bayern are yet to drop a point and in Robert Lewandowski boast a striker in a rich vein of scoring form, having netted 10 already in Europe this season.

Pep Guardiola's City have 11 points, scoring 12 times and conceding just four in the process, while Juventus have 13 points with 10 goals for and four against. The Vecchia signora's most lethal weapon, ex-Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, has managed only one, a state of affairs that the competition's all-time top scorer will be determined to remedy - arguably making him all the more of a fearsome prospect for the Serie A champions' last-16 opponents.

Were Madrid to be drawn with Juve, it would be the first time Cristiano has come up against his former club since leaving for Turin in summer 2018.

Three group winners yet to be confirmed

In Group E, Liverpool are top but can still be overtaken by Napoli; Group F was won by Barcelona on Wednesday, but they cannot be drawn against Madrid as sides from the same country are kept apart in the last 16; in Group G, RB Leipzig look odds-on to finish first but can in theory be overhauled by Lyon; and in Group H, Ajax (currently top) and Chelsea (second) are Los Blancos' possible rivals.