Best Champions League draws

Analyzing the best and worst draws for every Champions League team

Originally Published: December 13, 2012
By Albert Larcada | ESPN Insider

Lionel MessiAP Photo/Francisco SecoIt's in any team's best interest to avoid Lionel Messi and Barcelona in the Champions League draw.

The 21st edition of the Champions League has been whittled down to the final 16 participants. The draw for the round of 16 will be Thursday, Dec. 20, in Switzerland. This draw will pair teams for only one round, with the final draw setting up the bracket for the remaining eight squads to come afterward.

Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.