Bayern v Barca likely in q-finals

Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka (right) and Joshua Kimmich celebrating their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on July 4. The newly-crowned Bundesliga champions' 4-2 win in the German Cup final secured their second trophy
Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka (right) and Joshua Kimmich celebrating their fourth goal against Bayer Leverkusen at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on July 4. The newly-crowned Bundesliga champions' 4-2 win in the German Cup final secured their second trophy this season.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

But Munich play down 3-0 last-16 lead over Chelsea, due to their month-long inactivity

NYON (Switzerland) • Bayern Munich will face Barcelona or Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, if they see through their 3-0 lead over Chelsea in the second leg of their last-16 tie at the Allianz Arena next month, following yesterday's draw.

The last-16 tie between the Spanish La Liga side and their Serie A opponents remains finely poised at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona have endured a poor season by their standards - they are an outside bet to retain their league title and were knocked out of the King's Cup and Spanish Super Cup. But Bayern still expect to face the five-time champions in the last eight. Said Giovane Elber, marketing ambassador for the eight-time defending German Bundesliga champions: "Barcelona are not playing as well this season as they normally do.

"But it is Barcelona. When it comes down to it, the players are there. We have the disadvantage that we have a break now, and then we have to be there from 0 to 100."

Bayern have already finished their season, winning the domestic double. They have a one-month break before the Champions League resumes.

As such, getting past Chelsea may not be so straightforward due to the lack of match fitness - unlike the Blues and their likely last-eight opponents, who are all playing until the end of this month.

Bayern are bidding to land their second treble in club history, seven years after their first.

Bayern executive board member Andreas Jung said: "The second leg of the round of 16 - that will be for sure a difficult match. We have seen in the Premier League that Chelsea have had a very good restart, so it will for sure be a difficult match.

"Afterwards, Napoli or Barcelona both are very experienced. We have played very often against them and it's totally open."

Barcelona coach Quique Setien is not looking past Napoli, saying: "I didn't have much in the way of expectations for the draw. It's important that we focus on our game against Napoli, which is the key.

"We know that we're going to be playing at home now, which is something that is fair."

  • CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 

  • QUARTER-FINALS

    Real/Man City v Lyon/Juventus

    Napoli/Barcelona v Chelsea/Bayern

    Leipzig v Atletico Atalanta v PSG

    Q-finals Aug 12-15; semis Aug 18-19, in Lisbon

    EUROPA LEAGUE QUARTER-FINALS

    Wolfsburg/Shakhtar v Frankfurt/Basel

    Inter/Getafe v Rangers/Leverkusen

    Man United/Lask v Istanbul/ Copenhagen

    Olympiakos/Wolves v Sevilla/AS Roma

    Q-finals Aug 10-11; semis Aug 16-17, in Germany

Uefa confirmed the four remaining second legs will be played at their usual venues before the competition moves to Portugal next month.

The other pick of the quarter-final draw pits Real Madrid or Manchester City against Lyon or Juventus. City lead Real 2-1 heading into the return leg at the Etihad, while Lyon will defend a one-goal lead when they travel to face Juventus in Turin for the second leg of their last-16 tie.

The path to the semi-finals opens up the possibility of City manager Pep Guardiola facing his old club Barcelona if both teams progress.

Likewise, a Clasico semi-final is on the cards while Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo could face his former team Real. The Portugal star spent nine trophy-laden seasons in Madrid, becoming their all-time goal scorer.

The two confirmed quarter-finals will see RB Leipzig go up against Atletico Madrid and French champions Paris Saint-Germain taking on debutants Atalanta.

Leipzig, however, will not be able to draw on the services of striker Timo Werner, after he opted not to play again for the Bundesliga side following the confirmation of his summer transfer to Chelsea.

A "Final Eight" format will decide this year's champions in Lisbon. European football's governing body has done away with the standard home-and-away last-eight and last-four ties in favour of knockout games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2020, with the headline 'Bayern v Barca likely in q-finals'. Print Edition | Subscribe