'We want to justify our role as favourites'

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Stamford Bridge and the reigning Europa League winners await FC Bayern after they were handed what Hasan Salihamidžić described as an “attractive draw”. Opponents Chelsea bring back mixed memories for the German record champions. The 2012 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena ended in defeat, but the Reds got their revenge in the UEFA Super Cup a year later. The Blues are currently fourth in the Premier League. “The opposition are tough but with the team we have, we absolutely want to get to the quarter-finals,” continued Bayern’s sporting director.

Reaction to the draw:

Hasan Salihamidžić: “Chelsea are giving games to a lot of young players, who are doing very well. It’s an attractive draw. It’s a challenge that we will of course rise to.  The opposition are tough but with the team we have, we absolutely want to get to the quarter-finals.”

Hansi Flick: “There are no easy opponents in the round of 16. Chelsea are an internationally renowned club. Of course, the quarter-finals are our aim. We have to approach the matter with high concentration in order to come through both games.”

Manuel Neuer: “We’re looking forward to London, where we’ve had some good experiences. They’re a dangerous team, who we have to take very seriously and approach with concentration. Obviously we want to get through to the next round. I think we can go into the games with a healthy level of confidence. We’re happy with the draw, it’s against an attractive and good team.”

Bayern and Chelsea faced off in the 2012 final at the Allianz Arena. Current coach Frank Lampard was the Blues’ captain on that night.

Thomas Müller: “The ‘Finale dahoam’ has no relevance to the round of 16 this season, other than that it’s the same teams. It’s clear that you’re not going to get any small teams in the Champions League last 16. We’re fairly confident, I’m feeling good about the draw. Chelsea have players who can hurt us, though. They have individuals in attack whose qualities are well-known but it’s about the team performance, not individuals. My good feeling is based on us feeling very happy as a team at the moment. We want to be the favourites and justify that.”

Serge Gnabry: “Chelsea is a good draw, it’ll be a good match. There’s a good atmosphere there, too. We’re looking forward to it. I still have lots of friends in London who I’d like to see there. It’s obviously a particularly special game because of my Arsenal past.”

Joshua Kimmich: “We’ll go into the games with confidence. It’s still a long way off so we can’t yet say what form the teams will be in, but I believe we’ll go into it as favourites and I’m confident we’ll progress. They’re difficult to assess, they’re not really on a consistent run at the moment.”

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