Bayern Munich are through to the Champions League Round of 16! Well, we’ve been through since MD4, so that’s not exactly news. But now we know (almost) everyone who will be participating in the Ro16 draw coming up! With the likes of Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, and Paris Saint-Germain all finishing second in their groups, there’s the potential for some very interesting games in February.
Here’s a full list of who Bayern can face:
- Paris Saint-Germain (France)
- Atlético Madrid (Spain)
- Sporting CP (Portugal)
- Internazionale (Italy)
- Villarreal (Spain)
- RB Salzburg (Austria)
- Chelsea FC (England)
This article is going to talk about the HARDEST possible draws for Bayern in the UCL Ro16. Let’s take a look:
The Hardest Draw: Chelsea FC
The Blues last faced Bayern in the Ro16 of the 2019/20 Champions League, where they got played off the park by Hansi Flick’s Bayern. Frank Lampard, their coach at the time, admitted that there was a significant gap between the all-conquering Bavarians and his own side.
Things have changed since then. Chelsea fired Lampard and brought in an actual coach, and they proceeded to win the Champions League. The Blues are probably one of the top five teams in Europe right now under Thomas Tuchel, though they do have some issues. Their striker situation remains a mess — Timo Werner isn’t a consistent scorer, and new signing Romelu Lukaku has struggled since moving back to the Premier League. Injuries have also ravaged their squad — a common complaint of any UCL winner.
Still, Nagelsmann has a notoriously poor record against Thomas Tuchel-coached sides, playing six games and losing four (with only one win). Yeah, we’d rather avoid these guys, thank you.
The “Please No” Draw: Atletico Madrid
Bayern Munich swatted Atletico Madrid aside in last season’s Champions League group stage, and the Colchoneros have only gotten weaker since then. Diego Simeone’s defense-first playstyle is showing some cracks, although it clearly remains effective on the European stage. Despite getting Antoine Griezmann back from FC Barcelona last summer, Atleti languish in 4th place in La Liga, 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid.
The way I see it, Bayern could definitely beat them, but Simeone is a master of getting wins from games he really shouldn’t. Add to that Atleti’s reputation for rough play, and this another tie Bayern fans would like to avoid.
The “Not Again!” Draw: PSG
Aren’t we tired of this one yet? Yeah sure, The Parisians added Messi to their lineup this summer, but they haven’t gotten any better. The reason seems to stem from manager Mauricio Pochettino, who is apparently having issues controlling the dressing room and could be headed out the door soon.
Honestly, facing PSG in their current state wouldn’t be a difficult game for Bayern, but things can change quickly in two months. Also, we would really like to meet some new teams in the Champions League. Facing the same one over and over gets stale, no matter how many stars they might have.
The “We can handle that” Draw: Inter
Inter are probably the most average club in the Round of 16 right now. Not amazing, nor bad. Just ... good. Simone Inzaghi has done a good job trying to replicate Conte’s success from last season, despite the key loss of Lukaku over the summer. Still, the Serie A champions lack both the star power and the recent UCL experience to be a true threat to Bayern — which doesn’t mean they’d be an easy draw. They are the most “manageable” team here. A big club with a good side, but not too good.
The Potential Stumbling Block: RB Salzburg
RB Salzburg didn’t do anything spectacular in the Champions League group stage, only getting through because they probably had the weakest group in the competition. Still, they could be a decent threat if they maintain the Red Bull brand of gegenpressing offensive football. All of Nagelsmann’s losses this season have come against teams that were weaker on paper, but had a plan for disrupting Bayern via the press. Salzburg could do the same, which makes them a uniquely dangerous tie to get.
Aaaand the rest ...
Sporting CP might have smoked Dortmund, but Bayern are a different monster altogether.
Villareal would be an insanely annoying tie. Even though they’re currently 13th in La Liga, they did push Manchester United hard and beat Atalanta. Still, Bayern Munich should have the edge against the team known as the Yellow Submarine.
What would be the hardest UCL Ro16 draw for Bayern?
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So that was our rundown of the potential opponents Bayern could face in the Champions League Round of 16. The draw takes place on Monday, so be sure to stay tuned to Bavarian Football Works for way more updates and analysis! Meanwhile, if you need more UCL-related content, why not check our our postgame podcast on the Barcelona win? Can be listened to below or at this link.
As always, we appreciate your support!