Frank Ribery of Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich hope to take the next step on the road to a home Champions League final when they visit Basel in the round-of-16 first leg.

With this season’s showcase finale to be staged at Munich’s Allianz Arena, Bayern are desperate to make it all the way in the competition for the first time since 2010, when they lost 2-0 to Inter Milan in Madrid.

In Basel they face one of the tournament’s surprise packages. Basel will not have far to look for inside information on FC Bayern München – coach Heiko Vogel spent nine years in the German giants’ youth department from 1998 to 2007.

The Swiss champions earned second place in Group C courtesy of a 2-1 win at home to Manchester United, sensationally dumping last year’s finalists out of the competition at the first hurdle.

It remains to be seen if Basel can register another shock against one of the few teams equipped to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for this year’s crown.

FC Internazionale Milano’s roller-coaster campaign has gone into a spectacular dip in recent weeks, but the Nerazzurri can return to dizzying heights when they visit Olympique Marseille today.

Inter were on an eight-game winning run before a 2-0 Coppa Italia defeat at SSC Napoli on 25 January. They have now lost five of their last six outings, culminating in Friday’s 3-0 home defeat by Bologna FC.

Claudio Ranieri takes his FC Internazionale Milano side to France seeking a third successive UEFA Champions League quarter-final place – as well as a small piece of revenge over Olympique de Marseille coach Didier Deschamps.

As coach of AS Monaco FC, Deschamps denied Ranieri’s Chelsea FC a place in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate success.

However, Didier Deschamps does not expect a desire for revenge to come into play when Marseille and Inter Milan meet in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

“We’re not in the same category as them, but we still have a chance to qualify,” he said. “Inter are one of the seven or eight big European clubs whose objective is to be European champions. Our aim was to get to the last 16 in the winter, and then if we got further, we’d have exceeded our ambitions.”


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