Created on 07-12-2017 at 11:07 AM by Redaktion
With the group stage of the Champions League now complete, the eyes of Bayern and their fans turn towards Nyon in Switzerland. There, in UEFA’s headquarters, is where the draw for the last 16 will take place on Monday at midday and the German record champions, who finished second in Group B behind Paris Saint-Germain, could be in for another tricky draw.
“If you look at who finished first and who finished second, it’s all the same,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. “We’re not easy opponents either. But looking at the groups, nothing’s easy.” Defender Niklas Süle commented: “Maybe we’ll get a bit of luck with the draw. We’ve not had that in the DFB Cup so far, so maybe we’re due some in the Champions League. But there are no easy opponents anymore when you get to the last 16.”
Since no other Bundesliga side has made it through to the last 16, all seven group winners – excluding PSG – are potential opponents for the 2013 champions. Four of those teams are from the English Premier League, along with one each from Spain, Italy and Turkey.
Barcelona are now regulars in the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition, and the Catalans have reached the last 16 for the 14th season in a row after topping their group ahead of Juventus. A less familiar name is Besiktas. The Turkish champions triumphed convincingly over Porto and RB Leipzig, progressing past the group stage for the first time.
Roma secured their place in the last 16 on the final matchday. The Giallorossi, who were group opponents for FCB in the 2014/15 campaign, finished level on points with Chelsea but went through as group winners on the head-to-head.
The four other English sides all finished top of their group. Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur (who finished ahead of holders Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund) were all confirmed as group winners before this week’s final round of fixtures.
The final team to qualify for the last 16 on Wednesday evening were Liverpool. The Reds, who beat Bayern 3-0 in the Audi Cup in the summer, secured top spot in Group E with a thumping 7-0 victory against Spartak Moscow.
The last 16 first legs take place on 13/14 February or 20/21 February, with the return legs happening on 6/7 March or 13/14 March.