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Bayern Munchen vs. FC Zurich UEFA Champions League preview

by Football Pub on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Bayern München are a rare sighting in UEFA Champions League qualifying and they will look to maintain their perfect record against an FC Zürich side seeking a second appearance in the group stage.

Bayern München and FC Zürich are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition.

Bayern have played only four UEFA competition games against Swiss opposition. They overcame Neuchâtel Xamax FC 3-2 on aggregate in the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round in Jupp Heynckes’ first spell as coach, then beat FC Basel 1893 away (2-1) and home (3-0) in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Zürich have played 11 games against sides from the ‘Big canton’ with the record W2 D1 L8 (W0 D1 L4 in Germany). Their only success in five two-legged ties against German opponents came in the 1976/77 Champion Clubs’ Cup quarter-finals, where they defeated SG Dynamo Dresden on away goals; Liverpool FC beat them 6-1 over two legs in the semi-finals.

Bayern had recorded seven successive home UEFA Champions League victories prior to their 3-2 loss against FC Internazionale Milano in last season’s round of 16.

Zürich’s last European away success was a 1-0 victory at AC Milan in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage. They have not won any of their three subsequent away ties in Europe, though last month’s 1-1 draw at R. Standard de Liège ended a run of two defeats.

Four-time European champions Bayern München have won the continent’s top club competition only once in the UEFA Champions League era, in 2000/01, but were losing finalists in both 1998/99 and 2009/10. They have been absent from the UEFA Champions League group stage only once since 1997/98, featuring in the UEFA Cup in 2007/08. Third in the Bundesliga last term, only twice have Bayern had to come through qualifying to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage. They won 5-1 on aggregate against FK Obilić in the second qualifying phase in 1998/99 and 6-1 over two legs against another Serbian side, FK Partizan, in the 2002/03 third qualifying round.

FC Zürich made it to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the only time in 2009/10. They failed to progress, but enjoyed two memorable games against AC Milan, a 1-0 win at San Siro and a 1-1 draw at home. They lost their remaining four matches against Real Madrid CF and Olympique de Marseille.

This is Zürich’s fourth qualifying campaign. They lost to FC Salzburg (agg: 2-3) in the second qualifying round in 2006/07 and against Beşiktaş JK (agg: 1-3) in the following season’s third qualifying round. They made up for that disappointment in 2009/10 by beating NK Maribor (agg: 5-3) in the third qualifying round and then disposing of FK Ventspils in the play-offs (agg: 5-1). A 2-1 aggregate win for Urs Fischer’s men against Standard in this season’s third qualifying round means they are now unbeaten in three qualifying ties.