UEFA might make us wait until February to actually see the first set of knockout matches play out, but at least they provide us an opportunity to evaluate the Champions League Round of 16 matchups so quickly after the end of the group stage. We have already been able to assess the biggest winners and losers of the previous round, but now we can see just how well each club managed to do in terms of where they fell in the bracket.
By this point of the competition, it is hard to call any pairing a dud. There are only a few draws where you can reliably ink in predictions for the next round; the rest are scrawled in virtual pencil, to be mulled over for the next few months and prone to reevaluation once we have a better understanding of what will happen during the January transfer window and how it will impact each roster.
But we now know which teams will be squaring off against one another, and it is no fun waiting until the transfer window is closed to begin parsing out the possibilities for each set of fixtures. Flip through as we dive in and look at the eight duels on the calendar and take a way-too-early stab at evaluating and predicting which teams will advance to the quarterfinals.