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The teams Man City could face in the Champions League last 16

For Manchester City, the Champions League group stage often feels like nothing more than a formality. This year has been no different.

The reigning European champions are looking to defend their title and have already qualified for the knockout stages with ease.

Having secured top spot in Group G after their comeback victory against RB Leipzig on Matchday 5, it’s worth taking a look at who Pep Guardiola’s side could face in the last 16 as they hunt down a second successive Champions League trophy.

Lois Openda

RB Leipzig will avoid Man City in the first knockout stage / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Despite last 16 ties being chosen via a random draw, there are several teams Man City can’t come up against in the next round.

Three of those are Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United, with teams from the same football association or nation unable to meet in the last 16. However, they can be drawn against one another in the quarter-final and beyond.

Man City also won’t face RB Leipzig, as teams that played each other in the group stage cannot meet in the last 16.

Given City have won their group, they can only face second-placed sides from other groups in the next round.

Group A

Jordan Larsson, Sacha Boey

Galatasaray and Copenhagen can still qualify / Ahmad Mora/GettyImages

Bayern Munich have already secured their spot as group winners with two games to spare, meaning Man City will avoid the German champions, who they met in last year’s quarter-finals, in the last 16.

Man City can only face two sides in Group A – Galatasaray or Copenhagen. Both teams can still qualify for the knockout stages, as can Man Utd, but City can’t be drawn against their local rivals in the last 16.

Galatasaray face a tricky trip to Copenhagen in their final group game having managed a point in their last match against Man Utd, while the Danes have kept themselves in a strong position with a potentially pivotal point away at Bayern last time out.

Group B

Johan Bakayoko, Ricardo Pepi

PSV are the only side from Group B that Man City can face / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

With Lens and Sevilla both failing to qualify and Man City unable to face Arsenal in the next round, there is just one side the European champions could come up against in the last 16 from Group B.

That’s PSV Eindhoven, who are guaranteed second place in their group due to their superior head-to-head record against third-placed Lens.

Man City have never faced PSV in a competitive game, but Guardiola certainly wouldn’t mind drawing them in the last 16.

Group C

Real Madrid CF v SSC Napoli: Group C - UEFA Champions League 2023/24

Napoli look likely to take second place / Lasha Kuprashvili/MB Media/GettyImages

One team that Man City won’t be facing in this year’s Champions League are Union Berlin, the German underdogs having crashed out of the competition already.

While Man City could face them in the latter stages of the competition, as they did last season, Guardiola’s side will avoid Real Madrid in the last 16 after the Spanish side topped their group with a win over Napoli last time out.

The Cityzens’ possible last 16 opponents from Group C are Napoli and Braga, the former currently sat in second place. Both teams can still qualify, although it would require an almighty implosion from the current Serie A champions for Braga to progress.

Group D

Lautaro Martínez

There could be a repat of last year’s final / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

There could very well be a repeat of last year’s final in the last 16, with Inter currently sat second in Group D. The Italians have already qualified, but are competing for top spot with Real Sociedad, who have also booked their spot in the knockout rounds.

Man City will not come up against RB Salzburg or Benfica this year, both sides having exited the competition.

Group E

Mario Hermoso

There are two potential opponents for City in Group E / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Similarly to Group D, two sides have already guaranteed their spot in the last 16 in Group E, both of which could be opponents for Man City.

Lazio would prove a fairly favourable tie in the next round for the current European champions, Maurizio Sarri’s side having struggled for form this season. However, the wily Atletico Madrid are also in the hat for the draw, but only need a point against Lazio in the final group game to ensure they avoid Man City.

Group F

Paris Saint-Germain v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24

Paris Saint-Germain are yet to secure qualification / Christian Liewig – Corbis/GettyImages

This year’s ‘group of death’ is still wide open with three teams all capable of joining Borussia Dortmund in the next round. However, Newcastle are one of them and they can’t face the Cityzens.

Milan look the least likely to qualify at present. They still can, but it’s not in their hands. Paris Saint-Germain are yet to progress, but a last-gasp penalty against Newcastle means they just need to beat Milan in their final game to go through.

Dortmund are not guaranteed top spot but only need a point against PSG at home to make sure they don’t cross paths with City in the last 16.

Group H

Joao Felix

Guardiola could be reunited with Xavi / David Ramos/GettyImages

Unfortunately for Man City, a meeting with Champions League debutants Royal Antwerp is not on the cards with the Belgians out of the competition.

Man City could be drawn in what seems an annual clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, although the Ukrainian side are competing with Porto for a spot in the last 16. The two teams face each other in their final group game as they sit level on nine points, although Porto only need a home draw given they have the better head-to-head record.

After their recent victory against Porto, Barcelona have secured top spot in Group H. That means no reunion between Xavi and Guardiola in the round of 16.

All Man City’s potential opponents in the last 16

Potential opponent

Country

Atletico Madrid

Spain

Borussia Dortmund

Germany

Braga

Portugal

Galatasaray

Turkey

Inter

Italy

Copenhagen

Denmark

Lazio

Italy

Milan

Italy

Napoli

Italy

Porto

Portugal

PSG

France

PSV

Netherlands

Real Sociedad

Spain

Shakhtar Donetsk

Ukraine

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