Today concluded the Round of 16 ties in the Champions League and, to our delight, our beloved Bayern Munich will be a part of the quarterfinal draw for the ninth time in ten seasons. This year’s Round of 16 was almost as comfortable as last year’s tie against Chelsea, with the difference being that Bayern conceded one more and scored one less over two legs.
That has been the story of Bayern’s season so far. The Bavarians have been just slightly below last season’s incredibly high standards, conceding more this season and having to fight back in many games from deficits, although the fact that Bayern came back from two goal deficits in multiple games shows that that the mental fortitude to go all the way is still there.
The quarterfinalists for the 2020-21 Champions League season are:
- FC Bayern München
- Borussia Dortmund
- Manchester City
- Paris St. Germain
- FC Porto
- Real Madrid CF
Each team in that list is a former winner aside from PSG and Manchester City; each team in that list has played at least one Champions League final aside from Manchester City.
Without further ado, let us take a look at the best possible draws for Bayern in next round, from hardest to easiest.
Paris St. Germain
By no means does this mean that I believe PSG is the easiest draw; however, PSG has been rather hot and cold this season; I watched them play Niko Kovac’s Monaco and, without Neymar, they didn’t have many answers. They took FC Barcelona apart in Spain in the first leg in the Round of 16; however, had it not been for some Ousmane Dembélé misses and a penalty miss from Lionel Messi, we might have been speaking about Barcelona here.
Bayern played PSG in the Champions League final roughly seven months ago; the game was a tight affair and the French champions created some excellent chances they could not finish off; however, this PSG side has not exactly lived up to the one from last season (I put this down solely to the departure of the excellent and impeccable Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting) and have weaknesses.
This does not mean that PSG does not have players to hurt Bayern; Neymar and Kylian Mbappe aside, they have an excellent player in Angel Di Maria. Even without Thiago Silva, their back-line is solid; a lot of the credit for that goes to Marquinhos’ consistency. All that being said, over two legs, Bayern has enough to knock out the French side.
Bayern’s recent record against Dortmund suggests this would be a rather favorable draw. That being said, because this draw would pit two teams from the same country who know each other extremely well against each other, I am not sure how much I would want this draw. Over two legs, Erling Haaland looks more dangerous than over 90 minutes. Over two legs, Borussia Dortmund’s firepower up front looks more potent as well.
Dortmund outdid my expectations against Sevilla; both games became nervy toward the end. Dortmund controlled the first game in Spain despite conceding early; in the second leg, they looked the more potent side in attack until the last thirty minutes.
BVB, however, should have gone through more comfortably than they did; in the group stages, they made hard work of Lazio as well, particularly in Germany in a 1-1 draw. While I see Bayern winning this tie over two legs, it wouldn’t be comfortable and sparks would certainly fly considering the domestic rivalry between the two.
In a regular season, Liverpool wouldn’t be in this list. They are here simply due to poor form. Liverpool’s cutting edge is missing. Nonetheless, they made light work of Leipzig in the Round of 16; much of that was down to Leipzig of course, considering the horrendous errors which led to both goals in the first leg. They made light work of the group stages in a deceptively tough group including Ajax and Atalanta as well.
Liverpool is slowly starting to regain form; they beat Wolves in the Premier League this weekend in a 0-1 win, scoring a goal and keeping a clean sheet unlike what they have been doing in most of their recent Premier League fixtures.
Liverpool’s ultimate weakness lies in the back-line; Ozan Kabak is still trying to fit in; Jürgen Klopp rotates the back four constantly, playing a plethora of midfielders there. He hasn’t been helped by multiple injuries to his defenders and inconsistency in goal from Allison as well.
Over two legs, Bayern can definitely beat this Liverpool team; however, that being said, class is permanent and Liverpool will not be an easy opponent.
Porto brings up fond and not-so-fond memories for Bayern fans. In 2015, under Pep Guardiola, Bayern lost the first leg, 3-1, but turned the tie on its head with a marvelous display in the second leg in Munich, winning 6-1. Porto is a tough team to play this season as well; they finished second in their group in the group stages, behind Manchester City but well ahead of a tough Olympiacos outfit. Over two legs against Juventus, Porto was the better side in the Round of 16. More impressively, they put paid to the Italians despite being a man down for a large portion of the second leg.
Porto definitely offers a threat; however, among the remaining teams left, they would probably be the team Bayern would like to draw the most. That does not mean that the tie would be easy over two legs; at this stage of the Champions League, there are no guarantees.
Now, I am going to give you a disclaimer similar to our writer, Ineednoname. At this stage of the Champions League, nobody hands you anything. Last season, a plucky Leipzig side got rid of Atletico Madrid, Lyon took out Manchester City in a very good display and Atalanta might have had a spot in the last four had our very own Choupo-Moting not decided to become a hero in the dying seconds of that tie.
Bayern seemed slightly unconvincing today considering the monumental lead they had from the first leg; any similar complacency can cause huge problems in the latter stages. There are no easy games here; and if Bayern wants to retain the title, they have tons of work ahead of them.
Who do you think is the easiest draw on the list?
This poll is closed
Paris St. Germain