Incoming Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is into his final few months at Bayern Munich and still in the running to secure Champions League glory for the first time at the Allianz Arena.
The Spaniard will be succeeded this summer by Carlo Ancelotti, who spoke optimistically recently of the Bavarians' potential.
The Italian believes Bayern possess all the credentials to not only match the great Barcelona in European football, but surpass them by claiming this season's European title.
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Speaking to Goal.com, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss said: "Until a week ago, everyone thought Barcelona were the favourites to win the Champions League, including me.
"Now, nothing is certain. Barca’s level has dropped a touch and it is very difficult to say who is going to win the competition.
"Bayern are having a great season. They are top of the Bundesliga and still alive in the Champions League. Expectations are high."
Guardiola's men snatched a narrow 1-0 victory in the first-leg of their quarter-final against Benfica last week courtesy of a brilliant header from Arturo Vidal.
Barcelona, meanwhile, registered a controversial 2-1 win over domestic rivals Atletico Madrid, with all still left to play for as they head into Wednesday's second leg.
Ancelotti insists Bayern deserved their win over Benfica but should have sealed the match more convincingly.
He added: "They [Bayern] had a good result in the first-leg against Benfica and are favourites to reach the semi-finals. Maybe the result could have been better but it a good result in any case."
Asked if managers receive unfair criticism after Guardiola was questioned over failing to win the Champions League at Bayern, the 56-year-old replied: "I think so. All coaches are criticised.
"Just look at [Barcelona coach] Luis Enrique, who recently went on a long unbeaten run but was still criticised after the Clasico.
"Criticism is normal for a coach. Guardiola knows the Bayern team and environment well and is the ideal coach to take Bayern to the semi-finals or further."
After a year-long sabbatical, Ancelotti will succeed Guardiola as Bayern manager, with the latter set to arrive at the Etihad this summer.
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