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With the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 in the books, fans got a distinct clue as to who could be vying for the crown in Istanbul.

The other leg is on us, with most relationships split equally. Only three teams won their first leg with a margin of more than one goal.

Ranking the favorites to go all the way is hard to do in the middle of a round, but that’s exactly what we decided to do here. 90 minutes, At the end of the day, we love a challenge.

So, here’s how we rank all 16 remaining teams in the Champions League based on their chances of winning the competition.

Scott Parker

Scott Parker has made a very poor start to life as Club Brugge boss / Isosport / MB Media / Getty Images

Scott Parker has made an indifferent start to life as Club Brugge manager and has little chance of progressing past the round of 16 after a 2-0 home defeat against Benfica in the first leg.

UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Leg One"Eintracht Frankfurt vs SSC Napoli"

Eintracht in Naples / ANP/GettyImages is a mountain to climb

The German side staged an impressive turnaround to qualify for the knockout stages, and they have another mountain to climb heading into the round of 16.

Eintracht must overturn a 2-0 deficit at Naples without top goalscorer Randall Kolo Muani as he was harshly sent off in the first leg.

Marco Asensio, Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool must complete an unimaginable comeback at Madrid to advance / Socrates Images / GettyImages

It has been a disappointing campaign for Liverpool so far but their recent resurgence, best represented by a 7-0 thrashing of Man Utd, has fans praying for a strong end to the season.

Their last 16 tie against Real Madrid started brilliantly before ending horribly. Thus, they must make an Istanbul-esque return to the Spanish capital to avoid early elimination.


Porto have an impressive record against Italian clubs in recent years / Giuseppe Bellini / Getty Images

Sergio Conceicao has proved himself to be an astute two-footed manager since taking over as Porto boss, and the Portuguese side are still well into their round of 16 contest. Despite being 1–0 down to Inter at the halfway stage.

They have also had success against Italian clubs recently, but are not ready to compete against Europe’s best and their ceiling is a quarter-final berth.

josco guardiol

Josco Guardiol equalizes for RB Leipzig against Man City in the first leg / Lars Baron / Getty Images

RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga title aspirations suffered a blow on Friday night when they were beaten by Borussia Dortmund, but they showed their credentials in the first leg against Man City when they earned a 1-1 draw.

They too are recuperating, but at this stage of the competition the Etihad travel and very few escape victory.

brahim diaz

AC Milan hold a slim advantage over Tottenham going into their second leg / Marco Canniero / Getty Images

Stefano Pioli was going through an identity crisis when he switched to a back five following some disastrous results, but Milan have rediscovered some of their best form in recent weeks.

He impressed without the ball in a 1-0 win against Tottenham, but you’d think the Rossoneri might miss chances to put the tie to bed in the second half at the San Siro.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte hasn’t won a UCL knockout game since March 2013 / Robbie J Barrett – AMA / Getty Images

It’s all in play for when Milan come to town, and few would expect Tottenham to eliminate their slim deficit despite their woeful inconsistency this season.

Spurs have got what it takes to get ahead at the expense of Milan on Wednesday night, but Antonio Conte’s European record will worry many. The Italian hasn’t won a Champions League knockout game since March 2013.

Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig - Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund is one of Europe’s hottest outfits right now / Christoph Koepsel / Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund are one of the most in-form sides in Europe, having extended their winning streak to ten games in all competitions ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge.

They tried their luck against Chelsea in their round of 16 first leg, and they would be without match-winner Karim Adeyemi for the reverse fixture. This is another tie that could go either way, but Dortmund’s impressive form suggests they could enjoy a deep European run this year.

joao felix

They couldn’t do it again, could they? / Mika Volkmann/GettyImages

Chelsea have no right to be so high in our ranking, but there is something about the Blues and the Champions League. They usually do well in this competition when they shouldn’t.

Should he make progress at the expense of Dortmund on Tuesday night, the Graham Potter era could be ignited and given the talent he possesses, Chelsea could match-up any toe-to-toe.

Simone Inzaghi

Can Simone Inzaghi take Inter Milan into the last eight? / Giuseppe Bellini/GettyImages

Inter have been making steady progress in this competition but they are still some distance away from being considered favourites. They were clearly inferior when they faced off against Bayern Munich in the group stage.

It has been a disappointing home campaign for Simone Inzaghi’s side, but fans will be satisfied should they get the job done against Porto.

roger schmidt

Roger Schmidt’s Benfica could surprise Europe’s elite / Quality Sports Images / GettyImages

Benfica have sealed their place in the quarter-finals and are a team that will go on to surprise Europe’s elite.

Roger Schmidt is doing an excellent job, and the brilliance of his Benfica side was on display during the group stage when he completed the double over Juventus and drew twice with PSG.

This is the best Portuguese side we’ve seen in a long time, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them reach at least the semi-finals.

Kylian Mbappé, Timothy Pembele, Lionel Messi, Leo Messi

You can’t eliminate PSG just yet / Jean Catuffe / GettyImages

They have work to do against Bayern, but how can you dismiss a talented side like PSG? When you have the best player in the world at the moment and the greatest to do it, you always have a chance.

Les Parisiens have returned to their mighty best in the build-up to their second leg in Bavaria, and they will be poised to cause themselves an upset given Mbappe’s pace against Bayern’s high defensive line.

In a season where there is no specific favourite, some may favor PSG to fulfill their ultimate goal when they return to Munich.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Khvicha Kvartskhelia

Napoli’s team of the 2022/23 season so far / Fantasista / GettyImages

The 2022/23 season has been all about Napoli. Luciano Spalletti has been a bridesmaid for so long, but by the time the campaign wraps up, she’s ready to earn her time in the sun.

Napoli are cruising towards the Scudetto despite sustaining their second league defeat of the season last week, and look set to enjoy an enviable run in Europe.

They play with such cadence and harmony that it is nearly impossible to slow them down. But do they have the cajon to go all the way?

Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann will be judged primarily on Bayern’s performances in Europe / Christian Kasper-Bartke / GettyImages

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Julian Nagelsmann in his second season as Bayern boss, but there is no doubt the German giants are favorites to win the competition.

A lot hinges on their second leg against PSG, but they were so clearly better in Paris that they will be assured of progress.

He set up a home marker in a 3-0 thrashing of title contenders Union Berlin, and Nagelsmann will be eager to win against Christophe Gaultier’s side with such conviction.

The former RB Leipzig manager will be judged primarily on the club’s performance in Europe after last season’s disappointing quarter-final exit.

pep guardiola

Can Man City finally clinch the elusive Champions League crown in 2023? / Martin Rose/GettyImages

The Champions League crown has somehow eluded Pep Guardiola since taking over as Man City boss. The Nationals have been almost universally regarded as the best side in Europe for most of the Spaniard’s tenure, but they haven’t been able to get the job done.

And while they haven’t been looking their best this season, City are still the bookies’ favorites to win the competition.

Perhaps Erling Haaland will take him over the line in 2023, but his short history of arrivals means we can’t place him ahead of our current Champions League favourites.

Nacho Fernandez, Karim Benzema, Daniel Carvajal, Luka Modric, Vinicius Jnr, Ferland Mendy

You’d be a fool to bet against the holders in the Champions League / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images

There is an inevitability about Real Madrid in this competition. How can you bet against him after seeing what he has achieved in the last season?

There is no magic formula from Carlo Ancelotti, only stereotypes. The Italian takes comfort in knowing he has some of the best players in the world, and that is enough to reach the pinnacle. They step up their game when it matters most, never failing to panic when any sort of plan goes astray.

This is what makes Real Madrid special. There’s no system to fall back on, just experience and personal glory.

The holders beat Liverpool at Anfield and look set for another memorable European trip in 2023.

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