Champions League - Bayern relieved after decent draw

Fri, 05 Aug 14:55:00 2011

Bayern Munich, whose Allianz arena will stage this year's Champions League final, breathed a sigh of relief when they were drawn against FC Zurich in the final qualifying round.

Champions League - Bayern relieved after draw

Four-times European champions Bayern were spared the long trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan, a task which fell to France's Lyon.

"That is an achievable and interesting task," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes told the Bavarian club's website. "We have an excellent chance to qualify for the group stage.

"Avoiding Rubin meant we will not have any complicated travelling to do."

Bayern were plunged into the qualifying stage when they could finish only third in the Bundesliga last season, a performance which cost Louis van Gaal his job as coach.

Failing to qualify for the group stage would be unthinkable for Germany's biggest club, especially in a year when they are hosting the final.

Zurich, who beat Milan 1-0 away in a group stage match two years ago, upset Belgian side Standard Liege in the third qualifying round but have made a terrible start to the Swiss League, losing all three games so far.

The first legs will be played on August 16 and 17 with the returns one week later.

Reuters

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