Former Bayern Munich midfielder Thomas Strunz warns against Basel threat: 'Whoever beat Manchester United have quality'

The 43-year-old alarmed the Bavarians to the potential threat of the plucky Swiss minnows, and also had a word on Bayer Leverkusen's tough draw in the form of Barcelona
By Maximilian Bensinger

Former Bayern Munich player Thomas Strunz believes Jupp Heynckes' team have been handed a manageable task in the Champions League round of 16 after being drawn against Basel, but insists that there is no room for complacency.

The retired midfielder warned the Bavarians that the Swiss outfit are a quality team as proven by their impressive run to the knockout stage of Europe's elite tournament at the expense of Manchester United.

"They [Basel] are obviously manageable opponents, especially since the first match will be played in Switzerland. This should be no stumbling block for Bayern," the 43-year-old told

"From the first knock-out round, we must not underestimate any team. Whoever beat Manchester United certainly have quality. Nevertheless, Bayern are the clear favourites and, in my view, will reach the quarter-finals."

Asked whether last year's clash in the group stage of the Champions League will have an impact on the tie, Strunz answered: "I do not think that this is an advantage. Two knock-out games are completely different from two group stage games.

"They work very well as a team, the departure of Thorsten Fink has left no mark. On the contrary, they are still a very intact team."

The midfielder also had a word on Bayer Leverkusen, who are facing a herculean task in the round of 16 of the Champions League in the form of Barcelona.

He added: "This is obviously a tough draw. [Leverkusen] got the top favourites, it is extremely difficult. Barcelona must have two bad days and Leverkusen must play above themselves twice.

"They proved against Chelsea that they can do this. They have no pressure. To advance to the next round ahead of Barcelona would be sensational. The odds are low, but it's possible.

"I'd estimate their chances of winning at 10 per cent."

When questioned about a key figure that can make the difference against the Catalans, the midfielder said: "There will be no individual player, it will depend on team performance, on how well Bayer can stem the Barcelona offence and how well they can use the counter-attack."

Bayer Leverkusen host Barcelona on February 14 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 knockout tie.