FC Bayern Munich

Breaking Down Bayern Munich's Champions League Group-Stage Opponents

Stefan BienkowskiFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2014

Breaking Down Bayern Munich's Champions League Group-Stage Opponents

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Bayern Munich go into this coming Champions League campaign with an air of confidence, having bulked up their squad over the summer transfer window.

    With the additions of Robert Lewandowski, Mehdi Benatia and possibly even Xabi Alonso at any point, according to this report from Sid Lowe in The Guardian, Pep Guardiola will be hopeful of another strong challenge for European football's most heralded trophy. 

    On Thursday, we learned just who would offer the first round of competition to the German champions, as they were drawn in Group E against a host of interesting opponents from across the continent. 

    Here are the clubs Bayern will have to overcome in the group stages of the Champions League this season.

     

Pot 2 Side: Manchester City

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    Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    In an odd twist of fate, it would seem that the largest obstacle to Bayern's success in this season's Champions League will be none other than the very same team who drew first blood from them last year. 

    Yes, for the second time in as many campaigns, Guardiola's side will have to travel to Manchester to take on the might of Manuel Pellegrini's star-studded City side. 

    Bayern fans will take courage from the masterclass their side put on for the world to see at the City of Manchester Stadium last season, knowing fine well that the concluding defeat they suffered to the English side in the final matchday in Munich meant very little to either side. 

    Yet such is the nature of such a rich club that Pellegrini's side look even more prepared to take on anything Europe can throw at them, and in Manchester City, Bayern will undoubtedly find their ability tested to the limits. 

    This side are Bayern's main opponents for qualification and that first-place spot.

Pot 3 Side: CSKA Moscow

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    Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

    Guardiola's Pot 3 opponents should also ring a bell to most Bayern fans, as the Russian champions also faced off against the Bundesliga side in last year's group stages. 

    Unlike Manchester City, however, CSKA offered very little in terms of resistance to the German champions over both games, losing 3-1 in Russia and then 3-0 at the Allianz Arena. It's a dominance that we should probably expect in the coming showdown between these two sides in this campaign. 

    With bigger troubles in store for Guardiola's side in Pot 4, the coach will undoubtedly expect to pick up all six points against the Russian side.

Pot 4 Side: AS Roma

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    Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press

    Having drawn Manchester City and CSKA Moscow in the previous two pots, it was evident that whoever came out of the final draw would determine just what kind of group Bayern would have to deal with in this season's Champions League. 

    Alas, it was Serie A side AS Roma, undoubtedly the strongest team any side could have drawn from the pot. 

    Despite having a rather chequered record of qualifying for the tournament, Roma have qualified from their group in all four of their last campaigns in the competition, reaching the quarter-finals twice. 

    The Italian side will undoubtedly go down as underdogs against Bayern in both games, but they could well prove more than enough trouble for Guardiola's hopes of topping the group.

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