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All eyes on Nyon

FCB hope for attractive tie in UEFA Cup draw

Bayern’s convincing 6-0 victory over Aris Salonika on Wednesday sealed first place for the Reds in UEFA Cup Group F. All eyes at the Bavarian club now turn to UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, where the draw for the Round of 32 and the Round of 16 takes place at 1 pm CET on Friday. Munich will be represented by board director Karl Hopfner.

As group winners, Bayern’s Round of 32 opponents will be drawn from the sides finishing third in one of the other groups. The first leg will be away from home, with the decisive return in front of Bayern’s home Allianz Arena crowd. Winning the group had been “a big advantage,“ Ottmar Hitzfeld emphasised.

No intra-German clash

As a result of developments elsewhere on Wednesday, Bayern’s potential opponents include FC Zurich, RSC Anderlecht and Istanbul giants Galatasaray. Thursday evening’s final round of UEFA Cup group matches added Zenith St. Petersburg, Scottish outfit Aberdeen, AEK Athens and Norwegian cracks Brann Bergen to that list. Bavarian rivals 1. FC Nürnberg were in line to finish third in Group A, but an internal state derby would not have been possible as teams from the same national association cannot meet in the Round of 32. In the event, the men from Nuremberg claimed the runners-up spot in their section.

The 32 hopefuls entered into Friday’s draw comprise the 24 qualifiers from the UEFA Cup group phase, together with the eight third-placed sides eliminated at the same stage of the Champions League. First leg ties in the Round of 32 will be played on 13/14 February, with the returns on 21 February.