The football world’s attention will turn to Nyon, Switzerland on Friday at 7 AM EST. That’s when Dortmund and other teams left in the Champions League will learn their opponents for the upcoming Quarterfinals.
Now that the final eight teams are finalized, we ask the obvious questions ahead of the draw. Who would be the easiest draw for Dortmund? Who would be the hardest?
Let’s break down the competition.
Atletico Madrid (4th in La Liga)
No matter who we draw, they’re going to be a really good team. That’s just the reality of who is left in the competition at this point. Drawing Atletico, might be one of the easier ties we could find.
This year’s Atletico team is clearly not as good as Diego Simeone’s teams which have gone so far in the UCL. They’re already well out of the title race in Spain. And there have been rumblings of Simeone being unhappy/bored, and possibly wanting to move elsewhere in the Summer.
If Atletico are paired off with Dortmund, we’ll have a very real shot of going through.
Barcelona (2nd in La Liga)
Barcelona are a tricky one. When they went behind 4-0 to PSG after the first leg, all we heard about was how it was the end of an era in Catalonia. Barcelona clearly had their issues, but those issues are now being overlooked in the wake of their epic comeback in the second leg.
The bottom line is that they still have arguably the greatest group of attackers in the world. Neymar dragged them back against PSG. Suarez is still clinical, and is well-experienced in the dark arts. And then Messi is Messi.
I’d like to avoid Barca, because I don’t think our defense would be able to handle them over two legs. But their struggles in midfield and central defense mean that they can be had. Especially if Samuel Umtiti is unavailable.
Bayern Munich (You know)
I’ve got a weird feeling that this will be our draw. It’s completely open, so teams from the same country are free to be drawn together.
BVB haven’t been matched up with Bayern in Europe since...well you know since when. And it kind of feels like it’s due. It would be an incredibly nervous tie, but it would be an opportunity for revenge for...well you know.
This would be a tough draw that I’m sure plenty of our fans are dreading, but it wouldn’t be impossible. On Dortmund’s day, they can compete with Bayern. It’s just a question of which one of Thomas Tuchel’s teams shows up in the moment.
Juventus (1st in Serie A)
The Champions League is quite deep this year. Juventus are one of four league champions still left in the running. They’re running away with Serie A once again, and have plenty of players with the experience of progressing far in this competition.
They’d be a tough out, but much like Bayern, BVB could take them on their day. The only problem is stringing together 180+ minutes of consistency, something Dortmund haven’t been able to do many times this season.
Leicester City (15th in Premier League)
No one left at this stage should be taken lightly, but clearly Leicester are the easiest club we could possibly draw here. Their players quit on Claudio Ranieri, and are now back to actually trying, and thus experiencing a bit of a resurgence, under new manager Craig Shakespeare.
The reality is that they’re in a relegation battle, and just aren’t on the level of the other teams in the draw. Cool story that they’ve made it this far, but you’d have to expect Dortmund to handle them. Sevilla really should’ve, but were very disappointing over two legs. Can you imagine Aubameyang running at Robert Huth and Wes Morgan?
AS Monaco (1st in Ligue 1)
Monaco’s insane tie with Manchester City revealed some defensive issues, but also showed that they had the mindset to grind out a result when needed. It was especially impressive from a team that, like Dortmund, is quite young. But their sustained push to try and unseat PSG in France shows that they are more than just promising youngsters.
Monaco’s players may go their separate ways this Summer, but for now they are one of the best clubs in Europe. If we played them, it would probably be a toss-up. And it would certainly be another goal-fest. If City-Monaco ended 6-6, BVB-Monaco might finish 12-12.
Don’t worry! We’ll progress on away goals.
Real Madrid (1st in La Liga)
I think this is pretty clearly the team Thomas Tuchel won’t want to face. Yes, the black and yellows managed 2-2 draws in both group stage matches against Real, but now they will be even more familiar with how we play.
To put it simply, they’re just the best team in the world right now. Other people will claim that it’s Barcelona, but Madrid’s midfield puts theirs to shame. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are certainly the top midfield pairing in the game. We know what Ronaldo can do, Gareth Bale is coming back to fitness, and Sergio Ramos scores headers on set pieces literally whenever he wants to.
Plus, there’s the whole weird Aubameyang-to-Madrid thing that I really don’t want to think about until the Summer. The media coverage surrounding that would be awfulllll.