CHRIS SUTTON: I back Manchester United to beat Atletico in February

CHRIS SUTTON’S GUIDE TO THE (SECOND) CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW: Who knows what type of team Manchester United will be in February, but I back them to BEAT Atletico – while Liverpool should come out on top too but Inter will be no pushovers!

  • Monday’s initial draw for the Champions League last-16 was voided after an error
  • UEFA’s second attempt threw up some glamour ties to take place early next year 
  • Manchester United will play Atletico Madrid while PSG will take on Real Madrid 
  • Liverpool play Inter, Chelsea face Lille and Man City take on Sporting Lisbon 

At the second time of asking, Monday’s Champions League last-16 draw threw up some intriguing ties. 

PSG face Real Madrid in the tie of the round, while Liverpool take on Serie A champions Inter Milan and Manchester United face Atletico Madrid. 

Sportsmail’s CHRIS SUTTON analyses Monday’s draw – and makes his predictions as to who will reach the quarter-finals. 

Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League after the last-16 re-draw

 A number of technical errors saw the first draw voided (pictured: UEFA’s Giorgio Marchetti)

ATLETICO MADRID V MAN UTD  

They went from facing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to facing Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez. Oof. 

Ralf Rangnick best get to work on tightening up that back line of his. Rangnick is trying to implement his philosophy at United. It’s been a good start in terms of results, though not entirely in terms of performance. 

Who knows what type of team United will be in February? Hell, hamstring injuries might become a problem if Rangnick’s training sessions are as relentless as they sound. 

But really, we’d hope to see a much-improved United by the time they face Atletico, who aren’t the formidable defensive unit they once were.

Winner: Man Utd


Atletico Madrid are not the force they once were, even with star names like Luis Suarez (left) 

SPORTING LISBON V MAN CITY 

Sporting are joint-top of the Portuguese league. Looking at Group C, you’d have expected them to finish third behind Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. 

But they battled their way to these knockout stages under impressive young coach Ruben Amorim. When you’re facing City, though, it can quickly turn into a case of damage limitation. 

Pep Guardiola will be pleased with this draw but needs to make sure he doesn’t tinker too much. 

That cost him in last year’s Champions League final. Being experimental in knockout football is risky, and I don’t need to remind you of how much City and Guardiola want to be victorious in Europe. It’s their Holy Grail.

Winner: Man City

Manchester City have been paired against Sporting Lisbon, and will be expecting to progress

CHELSEA V LILLE 

Chelsea beat themselves up for finishing second. Then they drew Lille, twice. How’s your luck? 

They’ll have been buzzing when that draw happened the first time around. To draw them a second time will have been even sweeter, especially when the only other ball rolling around in the pot was Real Madrid. 

Although I believe Chelsea could have beaten Real, to draw Lille is even better. They’re the Ligue 1 defending champions who have been putting up a pitiful defence as they currently sit 11th in the table. 

They escaped a weak Group G as winners. Thomas Tuchel will know that, with his group of players, Chelsea can storm into the quarter-finals.

Winner: Chelsea

Holders Chelsea were once again drawn to play Lille, a repeat of the tie from the initial draw

INTER MILAN V LIVERPOOL  

Liverpool would have preferred their original draw of Salzburg, I’m sure. Inter aren’t pushovers. 

They’re top of Serie A and they’ve got talents, including striker Lautaro Martinez. 

Also, never underestimate the extra motivation a player can have when returning to a country where he previously flopped.

Former Manchester United man Alexis Sanchez wouldn’t mind using this match against Liverpool to remind English fans of his talent. Ex-Manchester City beanpole Edin Dzeko wouldn’t say no to shushing the supporters at Anfield either. 

It’s a bonus for Liverpool that the second leg is at Anfield. Even if the first leg doesn’t go according to plan, when that place is rocking they can create history together.

Winner: Liverpool


Ex-Man United flop Alexis Sanchez (left) will look to remind English fans of his immense talent 

RB SALZBURG V BAYERN MUNICH

Out of the frying pan and into the fire for Salzburg. They had Liverpool. Now they have Bayern. 

They’ve got a very talented 19-year-old striker called Karim Adeyemi. They’re a club that like to develop young talent, Salzburg, as they did with Erling Haaland. 

But Munich are the competition’s top scorers on 22 goals and they’ll win this one over two legs.

Winner: Bayern

Bayern are the competition’s top scorers on 22 goals and they’ll win this one over two legs

BENFICA V AJAX

If you’ve got a good manager, then you’ve always got a shot, and Ajax have an exceptional coach in Erik ten Hag who is constantly linked with the big clubs for a reason. 

Hell, he’s got a tune out of West Ham dud Sebastien Haller who’s been scoring for fun in the Champions League this season. 

Ajax won all six of their matches in Group C and I expect they’ll emerge as winners of this tie.

Winner: Ajax

Ajax won all six of their Group C matches and they will expect to emerge as winners of this tie

VILLARREAL V JUVENTUS  

Juventus don’t strike the fear of God into you like they used to. 

The Old Lady has a broken hip and she’s trying to get herself on the mend. Villarreal are an intriguing side. 

They’re 13th in LaLiga but under Unai Emery, who is a cup specialist, they made it into the last-16 safely. Still, I’ll back Juve.

Winner: Juventus

Juventus don’t strike the fear of god into opponents but they could have too much for Villarreal

PSG V REAL MADRID   

The glamour tie of the round – and I can understand Real’s frustration.

If their original draw of Benfica was made before the blunder, then of course they’re furious they’ve now got PSG. 

As domestically dominant as Real currently are, I expect PSG to come out on top in a high-scoring affair.

Let’s be honest, it’s never going to be 0-0 on aggregate after 180 minutes, is it?

Winner: PSG

Expect a high scoring affair when Paris Saint-Germain face Real Madrid over two last-16 legs 




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