Created on 14-12-2015 at 12:22 PM
Bayern have been handed a tricky but glamorous first knockout round tie in this season’s Champions League as the 2013 winners and current Bundesliga leaders were paired with Turin giants Juventus in Monday lunchtime’s draw for the last sixteen.
“It’s a very tough but also very attractive draw,” commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, “we’ll need two very good performances if we’re to reach the quarter-finals.” FCB skipper Philipp Lahm described the tie as “a classic European fixture. Juve made the final last season so this is a big challenge, but we want to reach the quarter-finals and we’ll give everything we have.” Thomas Müller said: “We’ve always enjoyed our meetings with Juve in the Champions League. I’m really looking forward to the stadium in Turin, it’ll be a great experience.”
Italy’s record champions
Juventus, who fell 3-1 to Barcelona in last year’s Champions League final, have been the dominant force in Italian domestic football for many years. La vecchia Signora (the Old Lady) have won the Scudetto four times in a row and are Italy’s record champions with 31 league titles. Juve also lead the way with ten Italian cup triumphs. Bayern’s record against the men from Turin reads four wins, three defeats and a draw. The teams last met in the 2012/13 Champions League quarter-finals with Munich winning 2-0 home and away.
The north Italians moved to their current 41,000 capacity Juventus Stadium in 2011 and currently lie fourth in Serie A, six points off leaders Inter. The men from Turin finished second in Champions League Group D behind Manchester City, although they won both meetings with the Premier League club.
The FCB v Juve clash features a number of reunions: Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman switched from the Italians to the Germans last summer, while Juve striker Mario Mandzukic was a treble-winner with Bayern in 2013. The leading personality in coach Massimiliano Allegri’s squad is keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who turns 38 in January, with important supporting roles for World Cup winner Sami Khedira and highly-rated midfielder Paul Pogba.
First leg in February, return in March
The draw ceremony was held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland from midday CET on Monday and was conducted by UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti, and former Internazionale star Javier Zanetti as the official ambassador for final venue Milan. The 16-team line-up featured seven former winners of Europe's elite club competition and nine of last year's knockout contenders, with a total of three teams each from Spain and England, two each from Germany and Italy, and one each from France, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and Portugal.
As group winners, Bayern play the first leg of the Round of 16 tie away from home at the Juventus Stadium on 23 February, with the return at the Allianz Arena in Munich on 16 March. This year’s final takes place at the San Siro in Milan on Saturday 28 May 2016.
Champions League first knockout round draw in full:
KAA Gent v Wolfsburg
AS Roma v Real Madrid
Paris St Germain v Chelsea
Arsenal v Barcelona
Juventus v Bayern Munich
PSV Eindhoven v Atletico Madrid
Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg
Dynamo Kyiv v Manchester City