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Bayern Munich vs. Juventus, Champions League draw: Bad luck for the Bianconeri

This is why you make sure you win your group.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The two best teams who didn't win last year's Champions League won't both make it to the semifinals again. One of Juventus or Bayern Munich -- the Italian and German champions, respectively -- is going to get knocked out in the Round of 16.

Juve had their group all but locked up heading into the final day, but was the victim of a surprising loss to Sevilla, with their former player Fernando Llorente finding the winner. Their punishment for that loss is a date with one of the best teams in Europe, and they'll be big underdogs against Bayern.


The defending Italian champions have had a rough go of things in Serie A, but they're finally getting things turned around after an impressive run in the Champions League. They beat Manchester City twice and clawed their way back up to fourth in Italy's top division, looking like they've reclaimed the form that saw them win Serie A four straight years.

Last year they upset their way all the way to the Champions League final before falling to Barcelona, but no one is going to underestimate them this time around. Juventus are a team to take very, very seriously -- they are extremely talented, and can beat anyone in Europe in any given match. If they keep their current hot form going, they're going to be awfully tough to stop.

Key player: Paul Pogba

Juventus are at their best when they're playing as a whole team rather than a bunch of individual players, but if they have one man who can take a match over and carry the team on his back, it's Pogba. The young midfielder struggled some early this season while much of the rest of Juventus' midfield were out injured and he had to carry more of the load than normal, but with them back Pogba has been able to get back to what he does best: Storming up and down the pitch wreaking havoc in every phase of the game. If there's one player Juventus' opponents need to focus on shutting down, it's Pogba.

Bayern Munich

Only Barcelona can rival Bayern Munich for the title of most frightening team in European football at present, though the Bundesliga table-toppers will be looking to fare a little better this season than they did in their comprehensive defeat to the Catalans in the semifinals last May.

With Pep Guardiola's exit from the Allianz seeming increasingly imminent, he'll be out to cap his brief Bavarian adventure with a Champions League medal. The critics would say that this Bayern incarnation lacks the raw pace and power of the Jupp Heynckes team that lifted the trophy three seasons ago; though what they lack in sheer force, they more than make up for with their extraordinary command of the ball. Few things in the game are more predictable than a Bayern goal, and anything other than a deep run in this tournament would be a big surprise.

Key player: Thiago Alcântara

Spain's embarrassment of riches over the past few years have ensured that Thiago Alcântara only has six international caps, but don't let that fool you: He's one of the very best midfielders around at the moment. Under Guardiola he's established himself as a crucial first-teamer for the Bavarians, matching exceptional technique with a dynamism that makes him a constant headache for opponents. He certainly isn't the flashiest player in this Bayern team, with Robert Lewandowski, Douglas Costa and Thomas Müller all more eye-catching, but it's Thiago tasked with knitting it all together.


Juventus still have a great team, even after some big summer departures, but they're still learning how to be their best selves without Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez. Next year, this tie would probably be a very close one. This year? Bayern by multiple goals.