Following the draw for the remainder of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, FC Bayern München know the path that lies ahead of them if they are to reach the final on home soil.
Their reward for overwhelming FC Basel 1893 in the round of 16 is a tie against Olympique de Marseille, who are at this juncture of the competition for the first time since going all the way in 1993. OM have faced Bundesliga opposition already this season and have fond memories – they won both group games against Borussia Dortmund, during the second of which, on matchday six, they overturned a 2-1 deficit with five minutes left to progress.
The victors of that tie will encounter surprise package APOEL FC or nine-time champions Real Madrid CF. The first Cypriot side to qualify for the knockout phase, APOEL have managed just seven goals in eight games from the group stage onwards; by contrast, José Mourinho's men have scored 24.
Holders FC Barcelona are striving to become the first team since AC Milan to successfully defend the European title and they face the Rossoneri in a tie sure to evoke memories of the 1994 showpiece, which the Italian side won 4-0. Fans who are too young to remember that contest may recall their group meetings this term instead, the Azulgrana triumphing 3-2 at San Siro after a 2-2 draw in Spain.
Whoever emerges from that heavyweight tussle will pose a formidable test for SL Benfica or Chelsea FC. In the last eight for the seventh time in nine campaigns, the Blues can call on the knowledge of former Benfica duo Ramires and David Luiz, whose insight is sure to be valuable for interim manager Roberto Di Matteo.
With the draw complete, who do you think will be lifting the trophy on 19 May at the Fußball Arena München? Whose chances have increased or taken a hit today?
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