Juventus will consider themselves to have dodged a bullet yet again in the Champions League knockout rounds draw.
In the Round of 16 draw done earlier today, Porto came out of the bowl as Juve’s opponents, with the first leg to be played in Portugal on February 16th and the return leg in Turin on March 9th 2021.
Juve pulled off an incredible 3-0 win at Barcelona in the last matchday of Group G last week to leapfrog the Catalans into top spot of the group. The only points Juve dropped in the group stages were in the 2-0 home loss against Barca, with maximum points obtained from games against Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros.
Porto finished second in Group C behind Manchester City, drawing the English side once and losing the other game, while winning both home and away legs against Olympiacos and Olympique Marseille.
In other draw results, Lazio got champions Bayern Munich and Atalanta drew 13-time winners Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid vs Chelsea, RB Leipzig against Liverpool and Barcelona versus Paris all promise to be interesting clashes.
Round of 16 draw ✔️— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) December 14, 2020
Which tie are you most excited for? #UCLdraw | #UCL pic.twitter.com/M6AqMYTygN
Despite the ‘easier’ opponent, Juve fans will be wary after being eliminated in consecutive years by lower ranked opposition - Lyon last season and Ajax Amsterdam the year before that.
Former Porto goalkeeper Vítor Baía said of Juve -
“As we all know, they are a top team, one of the best in the world, but we are ready. I’m an optimist by nature. For me, Porto always comes before any team.”
Pavel Nedvěd, Juventus vice-president also commented to the media -
“At this stage in the Champions League, all of the teams are very strong. As I said last year, when we drew Lyon and we went out, these teams are used to playing these games, like Lyon, like Porto, because when you advance to the next round, it’s very important to get there at the right moment and in good form.”