A fair few of Europe’s finest will be treading lightly in the last 16 as they look to avoid picking up a booking that would keep them out of a quarter-final clash
Shakhtar Donetsk travel to Germany on Tuesday with both Luiz Adriano and Tomas Hubschman just one yellow away from sitting out of a possible quarter-final first leg. There will be no such concerns for Jurgen Klopp, however, with his Borussia Dortmund side having picked up just six bookings in total so far – the best disciplinary record of any team to have made it the last 16.
Manchester United host Real Madrid in a mouth-watering tie at Old Trafford that same evening, and the Red Devils would have to do without Robin van Persie and Rafael in their next game should the duo pick up cautions. Likewise, both Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos run the risk of a suspension having both picked up two bookings during the group stage.
Juventus could be missing some key players of their own following their game against Celtic, with Arturo Vidal, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Claudio Marchisio having left themselves no margin of error. James Forrest and Scott Brown will have to tread lightly should the Hoops pull off a miracle in Turin, though the latter is expected to miss the match through injury.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva and Blaise Matuidi can’t afford to go into the referee’s notebook this week, and neither can Valencia’s Antonio Barragan, Tino Costa or goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
AC Milan will have to be up for the fight when they take a two-goal lead to Barcelona, though Mathieu Flamini, Philippe Mexes, Daniele Bonera and Riccardo Montolivo will have to curb their enthusiasm if they hope to feature in a possible last eight tie. Alex Song, Pedro, Javier Mascherano and Adriano will have to watch their step for the hosts.
Joel Matip and Marco Hoger both sit on two bookings and will have to be careful to avoid another for Schalke, while visitors Galatasaray could be without as many as five should they lose their discipline in Gelsenkirchen, with Albert Riera, Burak Yilmaz, Dany Nounkeu, Selcuk Inan and Nordin Amrabat all walking a tightrope.
Bayern need only worry about Javi Martinez and Dante as they look to finish off Arsenal. Arsene Wenger, however, has no less than six players who stand just one mistimed tackle away from missing their next game should they pull off an unlikely victory in Munich, with Thomas Vermaelen, Aaron Ramsey, Lukas Podolski, Laurent Koscielny, Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla all facing potential suspensions.
Porto have no concerns, with only fringe player Abdoulaye Ba facing a possible ban. Weligton, Manuel Iturra and Sergio Sanchez will have to show extra care for Malaga.