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Bayern Munich vs. Benfica, Champions League draw 2016: Bavarians should comfortably progress

Bayern Munich are unlikely to be too worried by the prospect of facing Benfica.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Bayern Munich are sure to be very happy with their Champions League quarterfinal draw, having avoided any fellow European giants. Instead, they'll take on a Benfica side that will be pleased to have reached this stage of the competition for the first time since 2012.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are widely -- and perhaps correctly -- regarded as one of the two best teams on the planet at the moment, with only Barcelona being able to claim a more superior squad than the German giants. That, however, didn't stop Bayern being given a scare by Juventus in the last round, with only a couple of last-gasp goals taking the second leg into extra time, where they scored twice more.

With coach Pep Guardiola having announced that he will be departing for Manchester City in the summer, he'll be as desperate as ever to get his hands on the trophy he hasn't lifted since leaving Barcelona. They won this tournament under his predecessor Jupp Heynckes, but have suffered disappointing semifinal defeats in each of the last two editions.

Key player: Robert Lewandowski

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is undoubtedly one of the top forwards on the planet, with perhaps only Luis Suárez able to rival him as a pure No. 9. Lewa has netted eight times in as many matches in the Champions League so far this season, and should be able to add to his tally against Benfica.


Benfica have a proud history in the European Cup, having won it twice before. However, they haven't done so since the 60s, and memories of the glory days of Béla Guttmann and Eusébio are becoming increasingly lost to the mists of time. Unfortunately, they're now one of the minnows of this tournament, and can be proud to have reached as far as they have.

That, however, isn't to say they can't make Bayern work for their victory. In last year's tournament, Benfica's compatriots Porto turned in an outstanding performance in the first leg of their quarterfinal clash, winning 3-1. Unfortunately it all went wrong in Munich, with Bayern eventually winning 7-4 on aggregate. Still, Bayern are not a team without weaknesses, and an intelligent Benfica could make life difficult.

Key player: Renato Sanches

Whether it's scampering back to make the key tackle, or surging forward to pick the final pass, Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches is capable of it all. At just 18 years old he's already an instrumental part of this Benfica team, and explains how they're able to play a 4-4-2 without totally losing the midfield battle.


It'd be great to see Benfica pull off a big upset, but Bayern are almost certain to have too much quality. It's difficult to envisage anything other than a comfortable victory for the Bavarians. Bayern will win by a few goals.