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Before the Draw: Bayern Munich's Champions League Round of 16 Scenarios

With just one other Bundesliga compatriot in the Round of 16, Bayern have a bigger pool of opponents they could be paired with.

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Another group stage is in the history books, meaning the enticing, ruthless knockout rounds is on the horizon. The group stage may have been pedestrian for the likes of Bayern, but several groups came down to the wire and big names are already knocked out of the competition.

With just two German sides qualifying, the outcomes of Monday’s draw give Bayern a much bigger pool of possible opponents than year’s past. In fact, every group runner-up outside of Arsenal is fair game, presenting many more interesting possibilities.

Here is a snapshot of the Round of 16 draw for the UEFA Champions League, and how each draw would suit the Rekordmeister

Group Winner Runner-up
A Real Madrid Paris Saint-Germain
B Wolfsburg PSV Eindhoven
C Atlético Madrid Benfica
D Manchester City Juventus
E Barcelona AS Roma
F Bayern Munich Arsenal
G Chelsea Dinamo Kyiv
H Zenit St Petersburg KAA Gent
The Best Draw: KAA Gent

As admirable as their Champions League performance has been, Gent are the clear minnows in this group of footballing sharks. Coach Mark Vanhaezebrouck adjusted to a higher level of football, but the level Bayern play at is going to be out of their league no matter what. It will be fun to see the ideas Vanhaezebrouck comes up with, unafraid to find different ways to hold possession and defend. He just may not have the players who can raise their game against the German champions.

The Worst Draw: Juventus

Though their domestic form would not suggest it, Juventus are still a great collection of players. Though the Old Lady has been slow to get out of her chair this season, Juventus seem to be moving around just fine, winning six of their last eight matches in all competition. Their defense is back to being stingy and Paulo Dybala has made Carlos Tevez look like an antique. With a versatile squad at his disposal, Massimiliano Allegri has all the tools he needs to trump Bayern and get back to the late rounds of the knockout stages.

The "Surpised this hasn’t happened yet" Draw: Paris Saint-Germain

PSG has reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League each of the last three seasons, and this showcase has yet to come about. Ironic, considering Bayern and PSG met several times in the late 90s once the Champions League expanded. The Parisians have not matched up well against their big Spanish adversaries, something they share with Bayern in the Pep Guardiola era. Their talent and trust in each other gets stronger each season, and they will be a difficult team for any club to knock off.

The Underestimated Draw: Dinamo Kyiv

When UEFA finalized the group stage draws in August, many picked the sexy FC Porto to make it through, even after Dinamo Kyiv unseated Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine and reached the Europa League semifinals. That may be partly due to the uncertain future of Andriy Yarmolenko, their star winger who reports speculated would go to the Barclays Premier League. Yarmolenko is still around, and their defense is still very hard to break down. Bayern’s trip to Ukraine was not very prosperous a year ago, and it will not be fun to go to Kyiv with the way Dinamo are playing.

The Revenge Draw: AS Roma

The resurgence of Roma took a minor detour last season, dropping emphatically to the Europa League after two crippling losses to Bayern and one on the final matchday against Manchester City. They bolstered their squad in the summer, and the Enlgand outcasts have banded well together to put Roma in a good place. They may get the opportunity to show Bayern how much they have progressed as a club, a prospect that may be enticing to them. Their defense still has a lot of questions though, so it may be hard to keep the Bavarians from running over them again.

The Chip on the Shoulder Draw: PSV Eindhoven

PSV were on of the Champions many outright dismissed due to the Eredivisie’s fall from grace, moaning how easy Manchester United’s Champions League campaign was going to be. Manchester United are now relegated to the Europa League, and PSV was not far off from winning their group. The club has players who have played at a pretty high level, and it mixes well with the younger core of players in the squad. Keeping clean sheets against the likes of Wolfsburg and United is a commendable accomplishment, but doing so against Bayern is a different challenge entirely.

The Darkhorse Draw: SL Benfica

Maybe it is because their Champions League campaigns have been hallow in recent seasons, including this one. Benfica is not a club that many are predicting to go far, but don’t underestimate the heart of a champion. Their stars do not have the name cache other stars around Europe do, but Nicolas Gaitan and Raul Jimenez are no slouches. They will have similar troubles containing Bayern that their compatriots Porto did last season though

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