Who should Bayern Munich face in Champions League round of 16?

Writers at Bayern Strikes pick the team they would like Bayern Munich to face in the round of 16 stage of the Champions League.
Bayern Munich were unbeaten during the group stages of the Champions League.
Bayern Munich were unbeaten during the group stages of the Champions League. / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Bayern Munich enjoyed a splendid group-stage campaign in the Champions League this season. They won five out of their six games, dropping points once in the home draw against FC Copenhagen on matchday five. The group stage campaign saw Bayern winning difficult away games against FC Copenhagen, Manchester United, and Galatasaray.

Die Roten finished first in the points table, which ensures they are seeded for the draw for the next round which takes place on December 18, Monday at Uefa's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The Bavarian club can face one of the following teams- PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Inter Milan, Napoli, FC Porto, and Paris Saint-Germain. Our writers have a say on which team they would like to see Bayern face in the round of 16.

Jonathan Britt- Lazio

Lazio has struggled to find the same form that led them to a second-place finish last season in Serie A and currently sit tenth in the points table. Coming out of a group that included Atletico Madrid, Dutch champions Feyenoord, and Celtic, the Italians never looked overly threatening. On paper, Lazio’s current form will make this a straightforward knockout game for Bayern.

Sarri's team is struggling to create clear goal-scoring opportunities and are not controlling games the way we are used to seeing a Sarri side play. Bayern’s defense should be able to limit the aging Ciro Immobile and Pedro, which will allow their midfield to control the game. While a trip to Italy is never easy, the overall quality of Bayern should be enough to see off a Lazio side still trying to find their form midway through the season.

Valenton Wallace- PSV Eindhoven

Since Inter Milan’s Benjamin Pavard played for Bayern and Kim Min-jae for Napoli, respectively, I would like Bayern to avoid Inter Milan and Napoli in the round of 16. With Napoli and Inter Milan out of the picture, PSV Eindhoven would be my preferred opponent for Bayern in the round of 16. Despite being unbeaten this season in the Eredivisie and holding a hefty ten-point lead, PSV should provide Bayern with a healthy but not insurmountable challenge over two legs.

In terms of key players for the Dutch side, Luuk de Jong and Mexican winger Hirving Lozano would pose the greatest threats to Bayern. De Jong, now in his second stint with PSV, is experiencing a return to goal-scoring form this season. However, the 33-year-old striker doesn’t pose the same sort of threat in comparison to the likes of Inter’s Latauro Martinez, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, or Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.

Hirving Lozano can be a handful for wing-backs, but Konrad Laimer should be up to the task against the Mexican. Lozano himself may be asked to track back to help defend against the likes of Kingsley Coman or Leroy Sane. Despite having good strengths in the attack, Bayern should be able to dominate both games and seal a spot in the next round.

Kiran Thakare- Napoli

I would prefer Bayern Munich to face Napoli in the round of 16. The defending Italian champions have been far from their best this season after the departure of Luciano Spalletti in the summer. Rudi Garcia had a tough start to the campaign, which eventually led to his sacking and appointment of Walter Mazzarri.

Victor Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia will be the key forwards to watch out against Napoli. Both have not been at their absolute best like season. Die Roten have the personnel to keep them quiet and get the desired results across two games. Bayern’s fearsome attack will be a handful for an out-of-form defensive unit of Napoli that is conceding at least one goal every game in Serie A.

Bayern also enjoys an unbeaten head-to-head record against Napoli in the Champions League. They have one win and one draw against the Italian club. (Stats courtesy: UEFA)

Along with some exciting battles on the pitch, the Bavarian faithful will also get a nice away day at one of the best and loud stadiums in Europe if Die Roten gets drawn against Napoli.

Isaac Rivers- FC Porto

FC Porto would be my preferred opposition for Bayern in the round of 16. Though Porto always seems to pose a serious threat in the Round of 16, Bayern will start as overwhelming favourites if they are drawn against the current Porto side.

Porto’s Champions League performance this season has been efficient, but nothing extraordinary. The Portuguese finished second in the group stages. When they came up against first-place side Barcelona, they lost both times.

As far as the matchup goes, Porto heavily relies on their aging players. In attack, 31-year-old Mehdi Taremi is their main man. Though he has a powerful shot, he lacks the pace it would take to get around Bayern’s defense. Die Roten’s central defenders should be able to keep him quiet across both games. On the defensive side, Porto’s star defender is 40-year-old Pepe— who, while in his prime, was a world-class defender. Pepe has lost a yard, which may make it difficult for him to keep Die Roten’s attack quiet.

Bayern has better personnel than Porto in every department. On paper and performance level, Bayern would have no issue advancing to the UCL Quarterfinals if drawn against Porto.

Story Link. What is Bayern Munich getting in Bryan Zaragoza?. dark. Next

Let us know which team you would like Bayern Munich to face in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.