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The second legs of the Champions League round of 16 are at their halfway point. As we await its conclusion next week, now seemed as good a time as any to check in on how the favorites, dark horses and the rest of the field are shaking up in pursuit of glory in Istanbul this summer.

The clash of the titans concluded with something of a whimper, Paris Saint-Germain crashing out at the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich netted twice in the second half, firing the French champions into their spring ritual of recriminations and impeachments. Julian Nagelsmann's side were one of three teams to make their first-leg advantage count second time around with Benfica easing into the last eight with a 5-1 win over Club Brugge, a drubbing so severe that it prompted the Belgian side to sack Scott Parker two months after appointing the former Fulham and Bournemouth manager.

AC Milan were never particularly made to sweat away to Tottenham, a 0-0 draw in north London enough to take them through after Brahim Diaz had scored the only goal in the first leg. There is now a distinct possibility that Italian clubs will outnumber their English counterparts in the quarters with Napoli and Inter Milan better placed, in results terms, to progress than Liverpool and Manchester City. Chelsea have at least guaranteed some Premier League involvement in the Champions League, overturning a first-leg deficit as goals from Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz earned Graham Potter a much-needed win.

As the numbers begin to drop, it's time to take a look at the runners and riders for the Champions League. For now we're just focusing on those four teams that are in the hat for next Friday's draw, we'll be back with full breakdowns of the eight quarterfinalists next week:

The top tier: Title or bust

These teams should be disappointed with anything less than a semifinal berth and frankly even that might not be enough, such is their talent profile.

1. Manchester City (+2)

2. Bayern Munich (+2)

There was ammunition for the sceptics even in the victory over Paris Saint-Germain, a result that could have been rather different if Vitinha had capitalized on the sort of error that the Bayern defense tend to make at least once per game. Equally that moment of indiscretion from Yann Sommer should not eclipse what was otherwise an extremely assertive performance from Nagelsmann's side, who were not as cowed by Kylian Mbappe as they have been in the past.

When the opportunities came in the second half Bayern took them with Eric Maxim Choupu-Moting looking to be a perfectly adequate center forward for a team of this standard. This is a Champions League with four very good teams but none who can make a convincing case for greatness. Given the field around them, there is nothing stopping this team from clinching a seventh European Cup.

3. Napoli (-1)

Serious contenders: If things go right, why not us?

It certainly is not beyond the realm of imagination that any of these teams could be lifting the European Cup in Istanbul come June, though it may require a few fortunate breaks for the tournament to go their way.

4. Real Madrid (-3)

Dark horses: Unlikely contenders, but contenders all the same

These teams are unlikely champions, but then so were Real Madrid at this time in 2021. It may take a change of circumstances, or a new tactical plan, or simply Karim Benzema having the season of his life, but it's possible. It's certainly not probable, but stranger things have happened.

5. Benfica (--)

Knocking out the worst side in the knockout rounds is not something to get carried away with but there is at least a way of doing so that can show a team deserves to be taken seriously in the Champions League. Benfica showed exactly that by ripping shreds out of Club Brugge, the sort of emphatic win that is supposed to be a thing of the past once the group stages are done and dusted. A year on from Darwin Nunez setting Europe alight, it would be a brave man who questioned whether Goncalo Ramos could do so this year. Certainly, Thierry Henry, a man who knows a thing or two about top strikers, is smitten. "This guy is on fire," was the Arsenal great's assessment of the 21-year-old on CBS Sports' UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show.

In the quarterfinal mix

Only in the most unlikely of circumstances could these teams make seriously deep runs in the competition but don't rule them out of winning a round, perhaps even two, before they bid farewell.

6. Chelsea (+7)

Graham Potter's side wouldn't be so high in our rankings if they were not quite literally in the quarterfinal mix. They do not have the feel of the teams that Roberto Di Matteo and Thomas Tuchel led to glory after similarly sketchy domestic campaigns, not least because they lack the wellspring of veterans that each of those teams had. Still this is a team that is making steady progress from the extremely low base they found themselves at early in the year; in both legs against Dortmund they dictated the terms of engagement, made chances and would have been out of sight but for better finishing. There are still questions to be asked over whether Potter is able to take this club where it aspires to be next year but if they continue on this trajectory they will at least be a tough out after the international break.

7. Inter Milan (-1)

8. AC Milan (+1)

Anyone who had suggested back in January that Milan would keep two clean sheets on their way to the quarterfinals would have found themselves sectioned in a matter of moments and with good cause. However, Stefano Pioli's switch to a back three has turned one of Europe's most laughable backlines of early 2023 into a robust unit, one that does not compromise the attacking threat of Theo Hernandez. In victory over Tottenham, Fikayo Tomori and in particular Malick Thiaw were exceptional, continually pressuring Harry Kane and forcing him to the spots where they wanted him to be.

If there is a serious concern about their potential when standards ratchet up -- and some of Wednesday's football would have disgraced the Conference League -- it is Milan's profligacy in front of goal. The Rossoneri had the chances to kill off this tie long before the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium emptied in a rush. Better teams than Spurs will not excuse such lapses.

9. Porto (+2)

10. RB Leipzig (--)

Bound for the exit

In reality, the greatest achievement of this team might simply have been getting this far in the first place.

11. Liverpool (+3)

12. Eintracht Frankfurt (+3)