Champions League

Every Champions League 2022/23 last 16 tie - ranked

Kyle Picknell
Liverpool have a chance to avenge last year's final defeat against Real Madrid
Liverpool have a chance to avenge last year's final defeat against Real Madrid / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Here we are, then. The business end of the Champions League is upon us and after a relatively swift and efficient draw from the one and only Hamit Altintop, we now know who will face who for a place in the final eight.

Let's be honest, there are some fantastic ties here. Some that really whet your appetite for a cool, fresh pint of Gazprom. And then there's a couple that makes you want to pour it into your eyes instead.

With that in mind, 90min has inevitably decided to rank the eight games from the 'I'd much rather be painting that wall and then watching it dry' gauge of watchability to the 'I know we're meant to be getting married but I'm absolutely watching this instead'.

Let's tuck in.

8. Club Brugge vs Benfica

Benfica celebrate scoring a goal at Maccabi Haifa
Benfica's goal glut at Maccabi Haifa saw them rewarded with a plum last 16 tie / AHMAD GHARABLI/GettyImages

Benfica's last 16 clash with Club Brugge is very much one for the hipster football fan.

The Belgian side put together three heroic performances during the first few weeks of the group stage but their results in the second half, along with some middle of the road domestic form, suggests their run in the competition will end at the hands of Benfica.

It's refreshing to see these two teams fight it out among Europe's elite instead of, say, oh I don't know, Barcelona and Manchester United, but together they make up what is clearly the weakest tie on paper.

7. Inter vs Porto

Diogo Costa, Kerem Demirbay
Diogo Costa to the rescue / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Another game that may make you consider a Tuesday night trawling round Sainsbury's for your weekly shop is Inter vs Porto.

Under Simone Inzaghi, Inter just aren't very good at the moment (look at the Serie A table for evidence of that) and Porto aren't really fairing much better in the Primeira Liga - thank you for Benfica for that eight-point gap you've opened up.

Diogo Costa's penalty saving exploits may make you think again, however, as might Hugo Almeida's absolute banger from this fixture in 2005 - a real favourite goal of this particular writer and one that's criminally underrated.

6. RB Leipzig vs Manchester City

Manchester City v Sevilla FC: Group G - UEFA Champions League
Are Leipzig the ones to stop the City juggernaut? / MB Media/GettyImages

RB Leipzig are on quite the run of form under their relatively new head coach Marco Rose, having won nine of their last 11 games in all competitions. They're certainly no pushovers but will have to be at their very best to stop Erling Haaland and Manchester City from stomping their way through the competition.

Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku are the players to watch out for Leipzig and both will likely seal big moves to the Premier League with fresh release clauses that activate this summer.

But City are City; there isn't much to be said and only some insane galaxy-brain Guardiola stratagems will prevent them from advancing.

5. AC Milan vs Tottenham Hotspur

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Kane
Tottenham dramatically stole top spot in their group / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

Slightly less fancied English opposition is the hot mess that is Antonio Conte's Tottenham Hotspur. While any game involving this Spurs side is inherently awful, there's every chance of a bit of fun because Stefano Pioli's Milan are involved.

They lost both games to Chelsea during the group stage without scoring a goal but have all the talent to prematurely dump Conte out of the Champions League once more. Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao up against Emerson Royal down Milan's left flank? Get your popcorn ready.

4. Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea

Dortmund celebrate scoring against Copenhagen in the Champions League
Dortmund will fancy their chances against Chelsea / BO AMSTRUP/GettyImages

Teams that appear to be trending in different directions will go head-to-head in a draw that, on the surface at least, looks quite difficult to call. Dortmund slowly look like they're getting their act together under Edin Terzic while Chelsea have seemingly forgotten how to defend under Graham Potter.

Jude Bellingham has been on fire in the Champions League so far this season, with four goals in five appearances, and it will be riveting to see whether he can lead his team past more fancied English opposition.

3. Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli

Giovanni Simeone of SSC Napoli (r) celebrates with team...
Napoli are a fun team to watch right now - and so are Frankfurt / Insidefoto/GettyImages

Without context, you'd probably think it's barking mad to suggest Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli as the third most watchable game in European football's premier competition. But fortunately we operate in a context-laden world, and there's plenty of reasons to be giddy about this one.

Last year's Europa League winners Eintracht are the feel-good story of the competition so far, after coming from behind in Lisbon to seal their place in the knockout stages. Add to that an incredible home atmosphere and unrivalled away support wherever they travel and Frankfurt tick all the boxes as a beloved underdog.

Then there's Napoli, the most entertaining team in Europe at the moment, currently blowing everyone they face to smithereens. Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are dynamite, box office, whatever you want to call them. They're a must-watch in the Champions League and deservingly dark horses for the trophy this year.

There's a reason the proposal of a European Super League was met with such disdain. It would have meant we'd never get to see fixtures like this.

2. Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Diogo Jota, Daniel Ceballos
Liverpool and Real Madrid will do battle once more / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

A misfiring Liverpool out for revenge against the reigning European champions? Yeah, this is a great tie, absolutely drenched in #narrative.

Plenty of ingredients here to appreciate, from the unbridled chaotic stylings of Darwin Nunez and Antonio Rudiger to Trent Alexander-Arnold having to pretend as though he is marking Vinicius Junior.

While last year's final was a tight, cagey affair as finals so often are, expect this rematch to be a slugfest full of goals that could ultimately swing either way.

1. Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has nine goals in his last seven games for Bayern / Maja Hitij/GettyImages

The Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting derby is far and away the standout tie. It's beautiful.

Bayern, somehow, topped their group containing both Barcelona and Inter Milan only to draw one of the favourites for the competition. PSG, on the other hand, were pipped to top spot by Benfica in a tie-break situation due to having scored fewer away goals.

This now means Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and co. have a very real chance of being bounced out in the round of 16, which would be the fifth time in the last seven seasons for the club and mean a whole lot of crocodile tears for the Qatari Sports Investments project.

You almost, very nearly, have to feel a little bit sorry for them.