The retired Schalke and Munich star was optimistic about die Roten and Borussia Dortmund's chances of progressing from the round of 16 against Arsenal and Shakhtar DonetskEXCLUSIVE
By Hassan Talib Haji
Former Germany international Olaf Thon says he believes Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will qualify from the last 16 of the Champions League, but that Schalke will have a difficult tie against Galatasaray.
The 46-year-old, who spent six years with die Roten inbetween two spells at Schalke, suggested that the 22-time German champions would be facing a weaker Arsenal side than of previous times.
"Arsenal had to sell their top stars in recent years," said the former coach of semi-professional side VfB Huls.
|THE DRAW IN FULL
|Galatasaray v FC Schalke
Celtic v Juventus
Arsenal v Bayern Munich
Shakhtar v Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan v Barcelona
Real Madrid v Manchester United
Valencia v Paris Saint-Germain
FC Porto v Malaga
First legs will be played on either February 12/13 or19/20, with the return legs on March 5/6 or 12/13.
"I saw Schalke playing against Arsenal and the Gunners reached this round having big difficulties.
"That is why Bayern will not have any problems. Jupp Heynckes can go into these matches calmly."
The retired midfielder also explored Borussia Dortmund's chances of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
"[Shakhtar] Donetsk are unknown, they do not have any big names in their squad. But that is also dangerous," said Thon.
"I saw Dortmund. This team is in outstanding form. They are dominant. The attacking trio of Gotze, Reus, Lewandowski - these are fantastic players.
"That is why Dortmund are absolute favourites for this match. The leg is at home, that is another advantage. Donetsk are not a weak team, but they are constantly eliminated early."
The 52-capped international added that he did not believe all German teams would have an easy route to the quarter-finals, however.
He added: "I remember well playing against Trabzonspor in the Uefa Cup in the 1996-1997 season. They were a very strong opponent, and so Galatasaray will be in this round for Schalke.
"You can not compare those two teams, but the Turkish fans will support their team to death.
"It is an even game, but the second leg at home could be an advantage for Schalke."