Terry Duffelen
Fri 18 December 2009

Bundesbag Week 16: Bundesliga clubs in Europe

Having spent the majority of last weekend hunched over a PC producing the Onion Bag Christmas podcast (which I really hope you'll take the time to listen to) there was no oppurtunity for me to watch any football. Naturally I've caught up with the latest shenanigans with Jens Lehmann and the hilarity that was Hannover managing to score 6 (six) goals and still lose to 'Gladbach but that's old news.

So rather than take you back over well trodden ground. Let's take a moment to look at the Bundesliga's representation in European competitions. Between the last sixteen of the Champions League and the final thirty two of the Europa League all the German clubs that entered European competition at the beginning of the season are still there, albeit not necessarily in the same tournament.

Champions League:

It must be said that both Bayern Munich and Stuttgart have progressed to the knock-out phase in unlikely fashion. While a home win against Urziceni may have seemed on the surface to be a winnable game, the way that Stuttgart had been playing under the recently sacked coach Markus Babbel you would not have thought that they could have achieved even that relatively modest goal. Nevertheless, the post Babbel bounce worked and Stuttgart's new coach Christian Gross can now look forward to an eminently losable tie against the Champions Barcelona.

Bayern meanwhile were not given a hope of making it out of their group but their 4-1 win at Juventus condemned The Old Lady to a couple of evenings with Ajax in the Europa League while the Bavarians can look forward to the very good yet still quite beatable Fiorentina. Louis van Gaal can be thankful. That draw could have been worse.

Europa League:

This is a huge competition for Hamburg who will be hosting the final. After having been knocked out in the Semi Final by Werder, Bruno Labbadia's men will be looking to at least make it to their own party on 12th May. However, they're in for a tricky path as they were drawn with PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 32. But that wasn't the only German-Dutch Encounter to come out of those little plastic containers. Last season's beaten finalists Werder Bremen will play FC Twente who are currently top of the Eredivisie.

The mouth watering ties don't end there because Champions League drop outs Wolfsburg will be taking on the always dangerous Villareal.

Last and very much least I'm afraid, the worst team in the Bundesliga were not bad enough for the likes of Herenveen and Ventspils in their group. Hertha find themselves in the final 32 and facing what promises to be a bloody encounter with Benfica. That's the same Benfica that murdered Everton in Group I.

That's it. Much to look forward to when business resumes next year, particularly those Dutch clashes with PSV and Twente. Meanwhile the final round of Bundesliga fixtures kick off tonight before the Winter Break. The Bundesbag will be back sometime next week.

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