Home Sports Champions League returns with 2022-23 knockout stage

Champions League returns with 2022-23 knockout stage

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A clean sweep of English teams, Scott Parker managing Club Bruges, and a record number of teenage players.

The Champions League knockout stages begin on Tuesday as AC Milan host Tottenham and Paris St-Germain welcome Bayern Munich.

It’s time to jog your memory on who’s still in the competition – and all the reasons you should be following along.

Manchester City v RB Leipzig

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Tottenham v AC Milan

Chelsea v Borussia Dortmund

There’s plenty of English interest for you. For the fifth time in six seasons there are at least four Premier League teams in the Champions League last 16.

Manchester City and Chelsea won their groups, Liverpool advanced with a game to spare, while Tottenham put their fans through the wringer, snatching qualification from the jaws of elimination on matchday six.

England’s top tier isn’t the only league excelling in Europe. There are also four German teams in the knockout stages, including Bayern Munich – the only side to boast a perfect group-stage record.

Italy are represented by three clubs, Portugal have two, Belgium, France and Spain have one. Speaking of Spain…

La Liga may only have one side in the last 16 for the first time since the tournament was expanded in 1999-2000, but you can’t do much better than the holders and record 14-time winners Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side take on Liverpool in a repeat of the 2018 and 2022 finals – and Los Blancos have fond memories of both, winning 3-1 and 1-0.

Liverpool’s best chance of Champions League qualification might be through winning the competition. They sit nine points off the top four in the Premier League.

They will have to end their rotten run against their Spanish rivals to progress, having lost six of the past seven meetings against Real.

If you like final repeats, you’ll love the prospect of Bayern Munich against PSG.

The pair played each other in the 2020 final with Bayern winning 1-0..

A year later and things got even tighter with their quarter-final finishing 3-3 and the Parisians advancing on away goals – a rule that has now been scrapped.

Can World Cup winner Lionel Messi, alongside losing finalist Kylian Mbappe – if fit- pull off another statement win over the six-time champions?

The Belgians advanced ahead of former finalists Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid to reach the knockout stages for the first time since the European Cup became the Champions League.

Ex-Bournemouth and Fulham manager Scott Parker has been at the helm at Jan Breydel Stadium since New Year’s Eve and will be in charge when they face Benfica in the last 16.

As a player Parker made nine appearances in the Champions League, all with Chelsea, playing in five knockout matches in 2004 as the Blues lost to Monaco in the semi-finals.

Or maybe you can get behind Eintracht Frankfurt, taking on Napoli. Their only other European Cup experience was way back in 1959-60.

In the fifth season of the competition Frankfurt made it all the way to the final where they were beaten 7-3 by Real Madrid at Hamden Park.

The German side had defeated Rangers 12-4 over two legs in the last four and 62 years later they beat the Scots on penalties in the Europa League final to qualify for Europe’s premier competition after a six-decade hiatus.


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