Chelsea have learned their fate for the last-16 of the Champions League, being drawn against five-time winners Bayern Munich.
The Blues had to wait until the final matchweek of the group stage to secure their spot in the last-16, beating Lille 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
It saw them finish second in Group H behind Valencia on their head-to-head record, setting up some potentially tricky ties.
With Liverpool and Manchester City winning their groups, and the Blues unable to face Valencia in the last-16, Chelsea had five possible opponents ahead of the draw. The options were Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig. The Blues have history with each of the clubs except Leipzig, but Bayern were the name pulled out of the pot.
Bayern topped their group having won all six games, including a 7-2 win over runners-up Tottenham Hotspur. The clash represents a repeat of the 2012 Champions League final, which Chelsea won on penalties at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, though the German side would later emerge victorious in the 2013 Uefa Super Cup final – also winning on penalties.
But that’s all in the past and the two sides now have two months to think about the latest chapter in their rivalry. So, what do you need to know?
When is Chelsea vs Bayern Munich?
First leg: 25 February 2020, Stamford Bridge
Second leg: 18 March 2020, Allianz Arena
What does it mean for Chelsea’s schedule?
Chelsea will not be happy with the way the Champions League draw fits around their scheduled Premier League matches – although those dates are still subject to change, with the television picks yet to be announced.
Just three days before they host Bayern Munich in the first leg, the Blues welcome Spurs to Stamford Bridge in a match that will take a lot of energy – especially with Jose Mourinho’s return. Four days later they will travel to Bournemouth hoping to avenge their recent 1-0 defeat.
Meanwhile, four days prior to the second leg at the Allianz Arena, Chelsea travel to Aston Villa but then, three days after giving their all in Germany, the Blues host Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side will also have been in Champions League action that week, but they will have had one day’s more rest after a home clash with Real Madrid. Crucially, there will be no travel for the Citizens that week.
Bayern board member reacts to Chelsea draw
Previous meetings: Chelsea vs Bayern Munich
30 August 2013: Bayern Munich 2-2 Chelsea (Uefa Super Cup)
19 May 2012: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (Champions League)
12 April 2005: Bayern Munich 3-2 Chelsea (Champions League)
06 April 2005: Chelsea 4-2 Bayern Munich (Champions League)
Aggregate Score: Chelsea (DDLW) 9-8 Bayern Munich (DDWL)
Bayern Munich’s strengths and weaknesses
One of the most obvious strengths Bayern Munich have is Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker has been in phenomenal form this season, particularly in the Champions League. Lewandowski currently leads the way as the competition’s top scorer having netted 10 goals in five games, including two against another London side in Tottenham Hotspur.
8 bonkers stats about Robert Lewandowski's Champions League group stage.
And he would have broken more records if he played in the final game. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/MPIxq8OBQe
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 13, 2019
The 31-year-old also scored four goals in a 6-0 win over Red Star Belgrade, the quickest quadruple in Champions League history and the second time Lewandowski has scored four in a single game in the competition – joining Lionel Messi as the only other player to do so.
Extending Lewandowski’s scoring record across all competitions, the Polish striker has 29 goals in 23 games only failing to score on five occasions. To say Chelsea’s defence hasn’t been the best this season would be a slight understatement, and Lewandowski will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of facing them next year.
But Lewandowski is not alone, Bayern also have the likes of Serge Gnabry and Philippe Coutinho getting among the goals, with the German – a former Arsenal player – netting four goals on his return to London in October.
If Chelsea are to stand any chance, they need to make the most of the January transfer window, having recently seen their ban reduced making them able to sign players next month.
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Despite their underwhelming start to the Bundesliga season, Bayern haven’t really shown one outstanding weakness. Their poor form under Niko Kovac was more of a collective failure, but there are still ways Chelsea cold exploit Hansi Flick’s Bayern.
In the Bundesliga this season, Bayern have allowed their opponents 143 shots in total, averaging 9.53 per game. Last season they faced 7.59 shots per Bundesliga game, not much lower but still a change from the side that secured a seventh-straight title win.
Bayern have also been conceded goals at a more frequent rate, letting in 1.4 goals per game this season – already shipping 21. Last season their average was 0.94 per game, conceding just 32 with the second-best defence in the Bundesliga.
In recent weeks Chelsea have struggled in front of goal, failing to scored twice in their past five games – the same amount as in their first 21. But, the Blues have been linked with attacking transfers including Wilfried Zaha and Timo Werner, both of who would add to their offence against Bayern.
Key stat: Bayern Munich have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League in seven of the past eight seasons, being eliminated by Liverpool in the last-16 in 2018/19.
Bayern’s reaction to the draw
Not wanting to get too ahead of themselves, despite Chelsea’s problems, Bayern Munich’s stars were slightly reserved with their reaction to the draw – though some called it a “good” tie.
Thomas Muller, who scored in the 2012 Champions League final against Chelsea, highlighted the problems the Blues could cause, saying: “I feel good about this tie, but obviously Chelsea have players that can hurt us.
The last time Frank Lampard faced Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena with Chelsea, he left with the Champions League trophy.
Time to phone Didier Drogba about a loan deal. 😉 pic.twitter.com/wpCx9O30Hj
— Coral (@Coral) December 16, 2019
“It’s nice to see three German teams in the round of 16, and I hope the same can be said for the quarter finals.”
His sentiments were echoed by Serge Gnabry: “We just watched the draw in our canteen. Chelsea is a good tie, it will be a good match with a good atmosphere.”
And Neuer, who saved Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in the 2013 Super Cup final, securing the trophy for Bayern, said: “We’re excited to go to London, we have some good memories there.
“Chelsea are a dangerous team, we need to take them seriously and with focus. Of course, we want to go through to the next round.”
As things stand, neither Chelsea nor Bayern Munich are in great positions in their respective leagues. Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League but have lost four of their last five matches while Bayern sit fifth in the Bundesliga.
But Bayern have been playing well even in their defeats and their Champions League record is perfect. With Lewandowski leading the line against Chelsea’s leaky defence – even with potential January recruits taken into account – it’s hard to see anything over than Bayern progressing. Bayern to advance