Thanks to certain rules in the UEFA Champions League draw immediately after the group stages, it isn’t quite as simple as saying Arsenal will face any group winner.
Clinching second place in Group F with a huge 3-0 win away at Olympiacos on Wednesday night, Arsène Wenger’s side put themselves into Monday’s draw, where they will face one of the group winners.
However, they can’t play three of the sides who won their groups. Bayern Munich are ruled out as they were in the same group as Arsenal, while Chelsea and Manchester City won their groups and teams from the same country can’t yet face each other.
That leaves five possible opponents: Atlético Madrid, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, VfL Wolfsburg, Zenit St. Petersburg.
But what are the chances of during each of those sides?
— Dale Johnson (@dalejohnsonESPN) December 10, 2015
As they aren’t allowed to face Gent (they were both in Group H) or Dynamo Kiev (political reasons mean the Russian club can’t face the Ukrainians), Zenit are more likely to draw Arsenal than anyone else.
The Gunners will really want to avoid the three Spanish clubs, so it’s encouraging that we have a 42.23% chance of facing one of the other two sides – either Zenit, or Wolfsburg.
We will find out what happens on Monday but, though all five clubs would pose a significant threat, we can hope to be given a draw which doesn’t see us have to face one of the very biggest teams in the world.