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‘Bayern are well ahead of Chelsea’ – Bundesliga champions backed to knock Blues out of Europe

Lothar Matthaus is confident that his former club will progress in the Champions League at the expense of Frank Lampard’s “young team”

Bayern Munich are “clear favourites” to beat a Chelsea side that “no longer has the shine of earlier days” when the two teams meet in the Champions League knockout stages, says Lothar Matthaus.

Chelsea will welcome Bayern to Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last 16 tie on Tuesday night and both sides will head into the match high on confidence after morale-boosting victories in their respective leagues over the weekend.

The Blues secured a 2-1 Premier League triumph over Tottenham on Saturday, which saw them tighten their grip on fourth spot in the table.

Bayern, meanwhile, picked up a hard-fought 3-2 win against Paderborn on Friday night to remain a point clear of RB Leipzig at the Bundesliga summit, as they continue to chase down an eighth successive title.

Chelsea are a long way off challenging for domestic dominance themselves at the moment, but have impressed in the Champions League, most notably by beating last season’s semi-finalists Ajax at Johan Cruyff ArenA in the group stages.

However, Matthaus doesn’t think Frank Lampard’s side will be a match for Bayern, who scored 24 goals on their way to securing six wins out of six in Group B.

“Bayern is the clear favourite. This is no longer the big Chelsea from the past with players like Michael Ballack, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba,” the former Bayern midfielder told German publication AZ.

“It is a very young team that has undergone a change. Therefore I assume that Bayern will reach the next round with two good performances. 

“In terms of quality, Bayern is well ahead of Chelsea. In the Premier League, the Blues are only fourth, more than 30 points behind Liverpool. N’Golo Kante is also injured. 

“Overall, the team no longer has the shine of earlier days.”

Matthaus went on to express his belief that Bayern are capable of winning the treble under interim boss Hans Flick, adding: “Since Flick has been coach, Bayern have been quiet. This is comparable to the [Jupp] Heynckes period. The club and the entire environment have moved closer together. 

“This is transferred to the fans and the team. Hansi has a good feel for a team, he is great in human and communicative terms. 

“I think three titles are possible, but everything has to fit. It is important that Lucas Hernandez and Kingsley Coman are in top shape to give the team more quality. 

“There are now options in the squad again, strong players can also come from the squad. Bayern 2013 treble-winning side also recognised this.”

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