Champions League preview: FC Basel v Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich hope to take the next step on the road to a home Champions League final when they visit Basel in the round-of-16 first leg.
With this season's showcase finale to be staged at Munich's Allianz Arena, Bayern are desperate to make it all the way in the competition for the first time since 2010, when they lost 2-0 to Inter Milan in Madrid.
By their own high standards, Bayern have been inconsistent in the Bundesliga this term.
They dropped points in a frustrating 0-0 draw at Freiburg on Saturday, and now trail league leaders Borussia Dortmund, the defending champions, by three points in the standings.
They encountered fewer difficulties in the group stages of the Champions League, with Bayern finishing top of Group A ahead of Napoli, Manchester City and Villarreal.
In Basel they face one of the tournament's surprise packages.
The Swiss champions earned second place in Group C courtesy of a 2-1 win at home to Manchester United, sensationally dumping last year's finalists out of the competition at the first hurdle.
Few could begrudge Basel their unexpected place in the knockout rounds.
As well as the home win over United, they also earned a 3-3 draw with the English Premier League champions at Old Trafford, beat Romanian newcomers Otelul Galati home and away, and also earned a 1-1 draw away to Portuguese heavyweights Benfica.
There will be an interesting subplot to Wednesday's match at St Jakob-Park. One of Basel's star men, Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri, agreed a switch to Bayern earlier this month.
But with the move to be completed at the end of the season, Shaqiri is free to face his soon-to-be employers on the biggest stage, and the Kosovo-born 20-year-old is sure to be out to impress.
Continuing the connection between the two clubs, Basel are coached by German Heiko Vogel, a former youth team trainer with Bayern between 1998 and 2004.
During his time at the club, Vogel helped to nurture the likes of Thomas Mueller, Holger Badstuber and club captain Philipp Lahm, all of whom are likely to be in the starting 11 against Basel on Wednesday.
Vogel served his apprenticeship alongside former Bayern midfielder Thorsten Fink at Ingolstadt.
Fink led Basel to the Swiss title in 2009/10, before moving to Hamburg last year, leaving Vogel to take up the reigns.
It remains to be seen if the 36-year-old coach and his players can register another shock against one of the few teams equipped to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for this year's crown.