Only Barcelona are ahead of Bayern - Van Bommel


Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the clear favourites to win the Champions League, according to former midfielder Mark van Bommel.

Holders Barca take a 2-0 first-leg lead into their last-16 clash with Arsenal at Camp Nou on Wednesday, while Bayern are looking to complete the job against Juventus after their 2-2 draw in Turin.

Van Bommel, who lifted the trophy with Barca in 2006 before moving to Bayern, says his former two clubs are set to battle for European supremacy this season.

"Bayern and Barcelona are the big favourites for me. Bayern are perhaps only behind Barca in Europe," the ex-Netherlands international told Eurosport.

"I can't imagine Bayern being eliminated."

Juve reached the final last year after having won the domestic double under Massimiliano Allegri, for whom Van Bommel played during AC Milan's Serie A title-winning campaign in 2010-11.

And the38-year-old has praised Allegri for the way he handles squads of experienced players.

"Allegri, at the time, knew exactly when to intervene and when to let the team take it easy. We had an old team, or, to put it better, an experienced team!" he said.

"In the right moments, he was in the foreground, but in others he held back. Those are the nuts and bolts of a team which has won everything and experienced a lot."