A Blues legend thinks that the Bundesliga champions will edge out his old club in Europe, and that a Catalan tactician could leave Eithad Stadium
Bayern Munich are favourites heading into a Champions League meeting with Chelsea, according to Ruud Gullit, who has also offered his take on Pep Guardiola’s position at Manchester City in the wake of the club’s European ban.
The German outfit also picked up a vital domestic win at the weekend, seeing off Paderborn 3-2 at Allianz Arena on Friday night.
Bayern are on course to win an unprecedented eighth successive Bundesliga crown under interim boss Hans Flick, who has steadied the ship since Niko Kovac’s departure at the start of November.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have fallen 35 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool in the Premier League, and are now fighting to secure a top-four finish.
Gullit, who enjoyed spells with the Blues as both a player and manager, would like to see his former club progress to the Champions League quarter-finals, but believes Bayern are more realistic contenders to win the competition come May.
“I am no longer in close contact with Chelsea, I am now living in Amsterdam,” Gullit told Goal and Spox .
“But, of course, I follow the Blues and want them to win. Bayern are still a favourite – I said before the season that they can win the Champions League.
“Bayern had problems this season, but also a lot of injuries. Now they have to overcome the first hurdle, but they have a good team and are still among my candidates for the title.
“It has to be said that there are no clear favourites this year with the exception of Liverpool. Almost all the top teams are weakening, whether it’s Barca, Real, Juventus or Manchester City.”
Gullit went on to discuss Guardiola’s future at the Etihad Stadium, insisting the former Barcelona boss could walk away from Manchester City if their two-season Champions League ban is upheld.
“I think that [his departure] is possible. Pep is determined to win the Champions League, that’s his holy grail,” said Gullit.
“After his time at Barca, he never got it. He was close, but for a number of reasons, he couldn’t.
“He is a very good coach. I like him because he left something behind at every club. He didn’t win the Champions League with Bayern, but he changed the team’s style of play so that they made an international impression.
“Pep has his own style and everyone loves his football, even at Manchester City.”
City are due to take on 13-time winners Real Madrid in their first Champions League knockout stage encounter, with the first leg set to take place at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.