Created on 16-12-2010 at 00:00 AM
On Friday, the eyes of the footballing world turn once again to Switzerland and European governing body UEFA headquarters in Nyon, where the draw for the Champions League first knockout round starts at midday CET.
“Obviously, you’re always excited about the draw, but we’ll take it as it comes,” keeper Jörg Butt commented at the Säbener Strasse training ground on Thursday. As winners of Group E, Bayern will definitely play the first leg of their last sixteen tie away from home, with the potentially decisive second leg on their home Allianz Arena turf in early March.
Preferably not Inter
A very powerful set of potential opponents lie in wait for last year’s finalists, including holders Internazionale. “We’d have no problem waiting a while for the chance of revenge against Inter,” said Butt. FCB could also face Inter’s bitter rivals AC Milan, a bogey team the Bavarians have never beaten over two legs in the knockout stages of European cpompetition.
There is a higher than evens chance of a meeting with Premier League club Arsenal, as three English clubs won their groups and clubs from the same country cannot meet in this round. Bayern’s other possible opponents are Spanish side Valencia, French duo Olympique Marseille and Olympique Lyon, or Danish surprise package FC Copenhagen.
It doesn’t matter to Mario
“I have no preference, I just hope we make the next round. Every draw would be tough, all the teams deserve to be in the last sixteen,” stated striker Mario Gomez. “It's not like you have a choice, but last season, we played Manchester United relatively early, even though we’d been hoping not to meet them until the semi-finals or the final,” Gomez continued.
“Basically, I don’t care who we play next,” the goal-getter observed. “To win the Champions League, you have to beat whoever you play, so I really don’t have any preference.”
Bayern’s potential last sixteen opponents: