The Champions League returns in August and will be played in a tournament style consisting of knockout matches. All matches, from the quarter finals onward, will be played in Lisbon. As for the remaining R16 fixtures, it was reported that they would either all be played in the Lisbon or all be played at the scheduled home stadiums.
Now, Diario AS reports that the verdict has been reached — the matches will be played where they were initially supposed to take place. FC Barcelona and Manchester City were big factors in the final decision, no doubt due to the close nature of their ties against Real Madrid and Napoli respectively. And, it’s telling that UEFA yet again decided to bow down to the big clubs. UEFA’s preference was to hold the games in Lisbon — their reasoning being the risk of players contracting the coronavirus would be lower.
Therefore, for Bayern Munich will play host for the game against Chelsea FC at the Allianz Arena. This is an advantage for Bayern, of course, and will mean an upset loss against the Londoners extremely unlikely, given the three away-goal cushion gained at Stanford Bridge in February. In fact, Chelsea are much more likely to be in for another hammering.
However, on the whole, could the home team’s advantage actually be a disadvantage for Bayern? For starters, Bayern would have gained valuable match experience and familiarity with Lisbon and the Lisbon pitches (at minimal risk of elimination), if they had played in Lisbon. Furthermore, Man City and Barcelona, two teams among the favourites, would have higher chances of going out without their home-field advantage.
But these are the cards that Bayern have been dealt, hopefully the team can push on and win the tournament regardless. They certainly have the quality to do so.