Arsenal, Lyon, Warsaw? FCB set to learn opponents
The FCB pros are focusing on Friday's Bundesliga opener at the Allianz Arena, but there is another reason for growing excitement for the whole Bayern family on the eve of the match. The draw for the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League group stage takes place in Monaco on Thursday at 18.00 CET! "We're eagerly awaiting it," said Manuel Neuer on the eve of the ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum.
FC Bayern, who are seeded in Pot 1 as reigning domestic champions, could be handed attractive draws. European heavyweights like Atlético Madrid, Arsenal, Sevilla and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are waiting in Pot 2. "We know how strong these teams are," according to Neuer. The World's Best Goalkeeper added his favourite opponents are "those you know very well, who like to play their own game."
Pots 3 and 4 also contain interesting challenges for the 2001 and 2013 winners. FCB have already crossed swords with the likes of Dynamo Kiev, Olympique Lyon, Sporting Lisbon and PSV Eindhoven. Trips to Bulgaria (Ludogorets Razgrad) and Robert Lewandowski's home country Poland (Legia Warsaw) are also possible. And maybe Bayern will encounter Glasgow club Celtic for the first time in 13 years. Certain encounters are excluded in the group stage: FC Bayern will not take on German teams nor other teams from Pot 1.
The four pots in the UEFA Champions League 2016/17 group stage draw:
Pot 1: Bayern München (GER), Real Madrid (ESP), FC Barcelona (ESP), Leicester City (ENG), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), CSKA Moscow (RUS)
Pot 2: Atlético Madrid (ESP), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Arsenal (ENG), FC Sevilla (ESP), FC Porto (POR), SSC Napoli (ITA), Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Manchester City (ENG)
Pot 3: Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), FC Basel (SUI), Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Olympique Lyon (FRA), PSV Eindhoven (NED), Sporting (POR), Club Brugge (BEL), Borussia Mönchengladbach (GER)
Pot 4: AS Monaco (FRA), Beşiktaş (TUR), Legia Warsaw (POL), Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL), FC Copenhagen (DEN), Celtic Glasgow (SCO), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), FC Rostov (RUS)