Bayern on brink of knockout phase

One point from their last two Group F fixtures will put FC Bayern München in the knockout rounds for their fifth successive campaign while Matchday 5 opponents FC Steaua Bucureşti can finish no higher than third.

Bayern celebrate their Matchday 4 draw in Florence
Bayern celebrate their Matchday 4 draw in Florence ©Getty Images

FC Bayern München are within reach of the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds again after Tim Borowski's late leveller against ACF Fiorentina on Matchday 4 maintained their unbeaten record in Group F. Just one point in their remaining two fixtures will make sure of their progress and they will hope to achieve that at home to an FC Steaua Bucureşti side who lie at the foot of the table with just a single point from their first four games.

• When the teams met in Bucharest on 17 September, Daniel Van Buyten's 15th-minute header settled the contest in favour of the Bundesliga champions. Nevertheless the home side created several opportunities and will be looking to take advantage this time round if they again fashion chances in Munich against opponents who can only be denied qualification by defeat coupled with victory for Fiorentina against Olympique Lyonnais in the section's other Matchday 5 fixture.

• Bayern followed their Matchday 1 victory with a 1-1 draw against Lyon at the Fußball Arena München, Jürgen Klinsmann's men having to come from behind as Martín Demichelis inadvertently flicked Juninho Pernambucano's long-range free-kick into his own net. The hosts responded after the break, Zé Roberto powering in a header to secure a draw.

• The two games with Fiorentina first brought Bayern a 3-0 home victory with Luca Toni, the Italian side's former striker, helping set up both first-half goals scored by Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Zé Roberto curled in a delightful third late on for his second goal of the campaign.

• Bayern are level with Lyon on eight points and if they manage to take their place in the first knockout round following the winter break they will have qualified from the group stage for a fifth successive UEFA Champions League campaign. The Munich club progressed beyond the initial phase from 2003/04 to 2006/07 inclusive. When they missed out on the 2007/08 edition altogether it broke a run of ten successive campaigns in the competition, during which they lifted the trophy in 2001 having finished as runners-up two years earlier.

• The game in Bucharest on Matchday 1 was the first occasion Bayern had met Romanian opponents in a competitive game since the 1981/82 European Champion Clubs' Cup when they overcame FC Universitatea Craiova in the quarter-finals, winning 2-0 away and drawing 1-1 at home. The German giants reached the final that season but their dream of securing a fourth title foundered as Aston Villa FC earned a 1-0 win. Ten years previously Bayern had faced Steaua in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 away and 0-0 at home.

• All that is left for Steaua in their third successive campaign in Europe's most prestigious club competition is to secure the UEFA Cup qualifying berth in Group F. A third-place finish – a position occupied by Fiorentina who are two points better off – would continue a trend because that has been their fate in three of their previous five campaigns; in the other two they finished fourth.

• On Matchday 4 Steaua, under new coach Dorinel Munteanu, stumbled to their second defeat at the hands of Lyon in successive games. That fixture ended 2-0 to the hosts with Juninho's free-kick and a late strike from Anthony Réveillère making the difference. On Matchday 3 Arthuro and Dorin Goian had given the Bucharest side a dream start in the home game with two goals inside the opening eleven minutes. Lyon levelled through Karim Benzema and Kader Keita, Ovidiu Petre headed Steaua back in front but another Benzema strike and two goals from Fred in the second half sent the points to France and prompted the departure of Steaua coach Marius Lăcătuş.

• Steaua's other game brought the 1986 European champions their one, and so far only, point in the section as they drew 0-0 away to Fiorentina in their second fixture.

• Six previous trips to Germany for European competitive fixtures have not yielded a single victory for Steaua. Their best results were goalless draws against Bayern in 1972 and again in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage at Hertha BSC Berlin.

• In 34 group matches over five campaigns, Steaua have amassed just four wins – and eleven draws – with two of those victories coming on their travels. Two years ago they beat FC Dynamo Kyiv 4-1 in Ukraine, the same score by which they triumphed at HNK Hajduk Split in the 1994/95 group stage.

• In FIFA World Cup qualifying in Constanta on 11 October Franck Ribéry scored France's first goal in a 2-2 draw against a Romania side that included Dorin Goian. In the UEFA EURO 2008™ final tournament, Willy Sagnol and Ribéry played for France against a Romania team featuring Mirel Rădoi, Bănel Nicoliţă and Goian. The Steaua trio then played against an Italy outfit whose attack was led by Toni.