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10.12.2009 12:52

Barça’s seven possible opponents

Roger Bogunyà

FC Barcelona now know the seven possible teams that they can face in the first elimination stage of the Champions League are AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyonnais, CSKA Moscow, Porto, VfB Stuttgart and Olympiacos.

The only team that finished in second place in the group phase that the Blaugrana cannot face is Inter as the sides have already met.

Below we take a look at Barça’s possible opponents.

A06.jpgBayern Munich: Lying four points behind the leaders in the Bundesliga the Bavarian giants’ fortunes have turned a corner. On the last group matchday in midweek Bayern recorded a stunning away win against Juventus to set up a possible return to Camp Nou for coach Louis van Gaal and Mark van Bommel.

CSKA Moscow: The Russian side did very well to finish second in a difficult group that contained Manchester United, Wolfsburg and Besiktas. With Rubin Kazan taking over as the top side domestically CSKA have not won the title since 2006, but are impressing in Europe this term with such stars as Krasic and Dzagóev.

FCB-NASTIC_-RONNIE_x1x.jpgAC Milan: Coming out of a group that contained Real Madrid, Marseille and Zurich the Rossoneri have a side packed with famous names including former Barça star Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf, Pippo Inzaghi and Alessandro Nesta. It is Pato however who is seen as the club’s key player.

Porto: Despite being back in third in the Portuguese league, behind Braga and Benfica, the team did well to qualify from a group with Chelsea as Atlético de Madrid and APOEL went out. Mathematically booked their place in the next stage after just four games and that was thanks to the impressive form of such players as Falcao and Hulk.

WEB_17.jpgOlympique Lyonnais: The French outfit have played at Camp Nou in both of the last two seasons. This time they could come without Karim Benzema leading their front line having sold him and signed stars such as Lisandro López and Gomis. Lying five points behind leaders Bordeaux in Ligue 1, they qualified from a group which saw Liverpool go out.

VfB Stuttgart: Aliaksandr Hleb is enjoying a season back with his former club on loan from Barça and has helped them through to the knockout stage from a group that contained Sevilla, Rangers and Unirea. On the domestic front things have not gone well and coach Markus Babbel has just been replaced by ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Basel boss Chrisitsan Gross.

Olympiacos: Leaders of the Greek league the team rounded off the group phase with a victory over Arsenal. While Standard Liege and AZ Alkmaar went out, Olympiacios are going well under new coach Zico, after he replaced the former Espanyol trainer Ernesto Valverde in the summer.
Barça’s seven possible opponents
Knockout draw
The draw for the first knockout stage takes place on December 18. For the first time the stage will be separated by four weeks and not two.

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