- France has five clubs qualified for the next round of the three European Cups: PSG, Monaco, Rennes, Nantes and Nice. The first four will know their future opponents next Monday.
There are still five of them. At the end of the group stage of the three European Cups (Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League), five of the six French clubs involved in the European scene will still be in the running next February.
Paris Saint-Germain, AS Monaco, Stade Rennais, FC Nantes and OGC Nice have all qualified for the next round. Only Olympique de Marseille, who finished fourth in their Champions League group, will not be in Europe again this season. With just a few days to go before the draw, which will take place on Monday, here is what awaits the L1 teams (qualified for the last eight of the C4, Nice will have to wait to find out its opponent).
Bayern, Real or Manchester City for PSG?
Paris SG, who beat Juventus 2-1 on Wednesday, finished second in their Champions League group after Benfica’s 6-1 win over Maccabi Haifa. With the same number of points (14), the same score in head-to-head matches (1-1, 1-1), the same overall goal difference (+9) and the same number of goals scored (16), the Parisians and the Portuguese were separated by the number of away goals scored (6 against 9).
This second place offers Christophe Galtier’s men a tougher field for the draw for the last eight. Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City are the biggest threats to the capital club. Serie A leaders Napoli, who were beaten for the first time this season by Liverpool this week, are also a formidable opponent. On paper, Chelsea, Tottenham and FC Porto look a little more affordable opponents for the Parisians.
Heavyweight for Monaco, Rennes and Nantes?
In the Europa League, the three clubs involved all qualified. Yes, but Monaco, Rennes and Nantes also finished second in their group. This means that they will play the play-offs for the last 16 against the clubs that have lost out in the Champions League, i.e. the third-placed teams in the group. Who are they? Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax Amsterdam, Sporting CP, Sevilla, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Salzburg. And that’s just the beginning…
Obviously, Barça are the scarecrow. The Barcelona team, who are upset by their elimination from the Champions League, have no intention of missing out on the UEFA Champions League. Juve, despite their slow start to the season, showed against PSG that they have quality when they are in the right frame of mind.
Ajax are also a serious contender and have a history of going far in the European Cup in recent years, having faced stronger opponents against Napoli and Liverpool in their group. Shakhtar and Salzburg are never easy opponents to play against. Given their current form, Sporting, Sevilla and Leverkusen look weaker, but such clubs have the ability to correct their course by February. One thing is certain, it will not be a walk in the park for the L1 clubs.
- PSG’s potential C1 opponents: Napoli, Porto, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester City.
- Potential C3 opponents for Monaco, Rennes and Nantes: Ajax Amsterdam, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Barcelona, Sporting CP, Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sevilla, Juventus Turin.