Bayern Munich have been drawn against Italian powerhouse Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals. Borussia Dortmund face the less glamorous Spanish side Malaga.
While Dortmund, the defending Bundesliga champion go into their quarterfinal tie as the clear favorite, Bayern are expected to have a much tougher time against their opponents, Juventus.
"Juventus are the best Italian team at the moment," Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes said shortly after the quarterfinal draw was made. "A real tough opponent."
At the same time though, Heynckes played down the perceived disadvantage of playing the first game at home and having to seal the deal on the road in the return leg.
"We are just as strong on the road and capable of winning," Heynckes said.
Munich’s sporting director, Matthias Sammer said the decisive factor would be what sort of form either club had on the day.
Two former Bayern players who now work as soccer pundits for Pay-TV station Sky gave the Bavarians a fighting chance of advancing to the semifinals.
"It is a difficult draw that they have to deal with, the odds are 50-50," Franz Beckenbauer said.
"This is a difficult draw, Juventus is capable of playing for a result against any opponent in the world," Stefan Effenberg said.
Bayern Munich open their quarterfinal in their Allianz Arena on April 2. The return match is on April 10 in Turin.
Dortmund in the role of favorite
Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, said there would be no complacency when they take on Malaga, the surprise team of this year’s Champions League.
"There are no easy matches in the quarterfinals," Dortmund’s chief executive, Hans Joachim Watzke said. "We’d never underestimate Malaga, particularly as they knocked out Porto with a mature performance. We haven’t lost any games in the Champions League, I hope it says that way."
Sporting director Michael Zorc expressed relief after learning of his team’s fate.
"We’ll take that draw. It’s better to face Malaga than Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich," Zorc said.
Dortmund open their quarterfinal tie in Malaga on April 3. The return match is in Dortmund on April 9.
Here are the rest of the fixtures for the Champions League quarterfinals drawn on Friday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
First leg, April 2 or 3:
Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray AS
ParisSaint Germain vs. FC Barcelona
FC Bayern München vs. Juventus
Second Leg, April 9 or 10:
GalatsarayAS vs. Real Madrid
FC Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Juventus vs. Bayern München
pfd/hc (SID, AP,dpa, AFP)