Arsenal Champions League draw: Prediction, H2H & More

Arsenal have been handed a tricky Champions League round of 16 draw, with the Gunners poised to trade tackles with Portuguese giants Porto over a two-legged contest next year.

Back in Europe’s premier club tournament after a six-year absence, Mikel Arteta’s side were good value in the group phase, rounding off as Group B winners after collecting 13 points from six games.

There’s no doubt that the Gunners would fancy their chances of a deep run in the tournament, but it only gets more challenging for Arteta’s side as they progress through the ranks.

Just in case you miss out on ticket sales to the last -16 but are eager to cheer the Gunners on from the stands, Seatsnet.com offers you a chance to purchase sold-out Champions League tickets ahead of the game.

Group Stage recap

Arsenal marked their return to the Champions League with a remarkable 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates, stamping their authority on Group B.

The Gunners were rampant, racing to a three-goal lead in the first half courtesy of goals from Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, and Gabriel Jesus, with Martin Odegaard rounding off the rout in the second period.

You’d expect Arteta’s side to build on their emphatic victory in subsequent fixtures, but they were rocked by a 2-1 defeat against RC Lens in the second game.

Arsenal took the lead inside the opening quarter of an hour through Jesus, but goals on either side of half time from Adrien Thomasson and Elye Wahi saw the Gunners fall to a shocking defeat.

However, the defeat in France was Arsenal’s solitary loss in the Champions League as Arteta’s side picked up three wins in a row, including a 6-0 revenge rout against Lens.

They rounded off the group phase with a 1-1 draw against PSV in the Netherlands as Edward Nketiah and Yorbe Vertessen cancelled each other out on either side of the interval.

Bukayo Saka had a group phase to remember after running the show for the Gunners and will be instrumental to their Champions League ambitions in 2024.

The Englishman was directly involved in more goals from open play than any other player in the group stage (3G, 4A), delivering four assists from open play which also ranks top among any individual.

Champions League draw

Porto were impressive in the group stage, finishing level on 12 points with faltering La Liga giants Barcelona, but were beaten to the punch by an inferior head-to-head record.

The Dragons played out an eight-goal thriller in their final group stage fixture against Ukrainian giants Shaktarh Donestk, running out 5-3 winners.

Barca played out an enthralling goal fest of their own, but in stark contrast to Porto, they finished the match on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline, suffering a shocking defeat to Belgian outfit Royal Antwerp.

Porto finished second in Group H after falling to defeat at Barca, succumbing to a 2-1 loss despite taking the lead through stalwart Pepe as Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix turned the tides in favour of the hosts.

Nonetheless, the Portuguese giants are through to the knockout phase, but their campaign may go no further with Arsenal standing between them and a place in the quarter-finals.

Arsenal travel to the Estadio do Dragao for the first leg of their last 16 meetings on February 13/14, while the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium has been scheduled for March 5/6 or March 12/13.

Head-to-head meetings

Arsenal and Porto have faced off six times in the Champions League. They crossed paths for the first time in the group stage during the 2006/07 season. 

The Gunners claimed a 2-0 victory on matchday one at the Emirates, with Thierry Henry and Aleksandr Hleb getting on the scoresheet. 

The reverse fixture ended in a goalless draw, with Arsenal finishing at the top of their group, securing 11 points and leading on head-to-head results.

In the 2008/09 season, Arsene Wenger’s troops comfortably dispatched Porto 4-0 on the first matchday, with Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor bagging a brace apiece.

With both teams already qualified, a weakened Arsenal line-up suffered a 2-1 defeat at Porto, concluding the group stage in second place, trailing the Portuguese side by a single point.

The final encounter between Arsenal and Porto took place in the round of 16 during the 2009/10 Champions League season. 

Arsenal faced an unexpected 2-1 defeat in the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao. However, they mounted a remarkable response at home, securing a 5-0 victory to claim a 6-2 aggregate win. 

Nicklas Bendtner notched a hat-trick, while Samir Nasri netted a sublime solo goal, ensuring Arsenal advanced to the quarter-final of the tournament.


The upcoming clash against Porto holds significant weight for Arsenal as it marks their return to the Champions League knockout phase after a prolonged absence. 

Coincidentally, the last time the Gunners advanced to the quarterfinals of this tournament was when they secured victory in their final encounter with Porto in the 2009/10 campaign.

Arsenal subsequently failed to progress past the round of 16 exits in the following seven instalments of the Champions League, highlighting the club’s struggle to reach the business end of the tournament.

The Gunners will head into the meeting with Porto as favourites. 

However, they’d be naive to underestimate another Portuguese opponent after suffering a shocking penalty shoot-out exit against Sporting CP in the Europa League last 16 last season. 

Recognising the threat posed by Porto, Arsenal must deliver a formidable performance in the away fixture to establish themselves in a commanding position for the return leg on home turf.

The challenge for Arsenal is to buck the trend of a last-16 exit and set the stage for a deeper Champions League run. Perhaps they could reach the final for the first time since 2006 when they were thwarted by Barca.

Best possible quarter-final match-up

It won’t be a walk in the park, but we expect Arsenal to swat aside Porto on their way to the quarter-final, which is where it gets even more challenging for the Gunners.

Whoever they get in the quarter-final draw could either signal hope for further progression or the end of their Champions League campaign.

A match-up against Borussia Dortmund, who we expect to get past PSV, could be Arsenal’s best route to the semi-finals.

The Gunners have won four of their last eight matches against the Bundesliga side (D1, L3), including their most recent 2-0 victory in the 2014/15 group stage.

Worst possible QF match-up

Squaring off against Bayern Munich could be the worst possible quarter-final match-up for Arteta’s side, considering their uninspiring record against the Bundesliga champions.

Arsenal have won just one of their previous 12 games against Bayern (D2, L7), losing the last three in a row by a combined scoreline of 15-3.

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