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Bayern's potential last sixteen opponents

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Bayern's potential last sixteen opponents

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:10 am

"Finishing first is a huge advantage. Just look at the other group winners," remarked FCB director of sport Christian Nerlinger after the fifth round of Champions League group stage fixtures, when Bayern sealed top spot in their section. Munich concluded their preliminary stage programme with Wednesday evening's meaningless 2-0 defeat away to Manchester City, after which the final line-up for the last sixteen was finalised.

"I have no preference," insisted Jupp Heynckes when asked to name his ideal first knockout round opponents, listed here by In the draw on 16 December at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, FCB will be paired with one of the group runners-up, and will play the second leg on their home Allianz Arena turf.

Of the eight runners-up, Group E contenders Bayer Leverkusen cannot meet Heynckes' men, as ties between teams from the same national association are not permitted at this stage. The Bavarians can also not meet Italian cracks Napoli, as teams who met in the same group are kept apart in the first knockout round.

That leaves six potential opponents for the Bundesliga leaders. The first of these are CSKA Moscow, who sneaked a last-gasp 2-1 victory away to Inter Milan and rose from bottom to second place in Group B behind the Italians. Lille and Trabzonspor, who played out a goalless draw in the parallel fixture, both miss out.

Basel pull off stunning upset

In a shock dénouement to Group C, rank outsiders FC Basel, with former Bayern youth coach Heiko Vogel at the helm, booked a place in the last sixteen courtesy of a stunning 2-1 victory over Manchester United, who like bitter rivals City are now out of the competition.

There was an even more remarkable finish in Group D, where Olympique Lyon upset all the odds by thrashing Dynamo Zagreb 7-1 away from home, edging out Amsterdam giants Ajax, themselves beaten 3-0 at home by Real Madrid. Lyon thus scrambled second place behind the Spanish side on goal difference from the disconsolate Dutch.

Heynckes relaxed about draw

On Tuesday evening, Olympique Marseille and Zenit St Petersburg both made it through to the next round, while old foes AC Milan with former FCB captain Mark van Bommel were already guaranteed second spot in Group H after the fifth round of matches. But regardless of who comes out of the hat, Heynckes remains supremely confident: "If we're at full strength, we can beat anyone."
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