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England and Germany fight for survival
By contrast, Italy's Serie A, often criticised for its crumbling stadiums, falling attendances and written off as a league in perpetual decline, could end up with all three of its teams in the last eight.
Chelsea have a 3-1 deficit going into the second leg of their round-of-16 tie at home to a buoyant Napoli team who have won their last five league games, hammering Cagliari 6-3 last Friday.
Bayern find themselves 1-0 down to FC Basel, the surprise package along with APOEL Nicosia, and must end the Swiss champions' unbeaten away record in this season's competition if they are to progress.
Failure to do so would be unthinkable for the Bavarians who are desperate to reach the final which will take place at their own Allianz Arena.
In the week's other ties, Claudio Ranieri's ageing Inter Milan, the 2010 champions, trail 1-0 to Olympique Marseille before hosting the French side, while Real Madrid should see off CSKA Moscow after a 1-1 draw in freezing conditions in Russia.
Chelsea's elimination would leave the English Premier League without a quarter-finalist for the first time since the 1995/96 season.
Arsenal went out last week, their 3-0 win over Milan not enough after they were trounced 4-0 in the first leg, while Manchester United and Manchester City fell in the group stage.
That leaves Bayern Munich flying the flag for the Bundesliga, which next season will win a third direct place in the group stage at the expense of Serie A.
Napoli, the only one of this season's five debutants still standing, twice took part in the old European Cup during Diego Maradona's days but never progressed beyond the second round.
"Maradona's days remain the best in Napoli's history, but we feel we are nearly on a par with that era and that makes us proud," said Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri, who will be serving the second of a two-match touchline ban.
Basel are attempting to become the first Swiss side to reach the last eight since Grasshoppers in 1978/79 during the days of the old European Cup.
The Swiss champions are often regarded as a model club, shunning expensive transfers and relying on a mix of home-grown youngsters and experienced players such as strikers Marco Streller and Alexander Frei, who have returned home for a swansong.
Ranieri has narrowly escaped suffering the same fate as Villas-Boas since Olympique's 1-0 first leg win and the Champions League remains Inter's chance to save their season after dropping to seventh in Serie A.
Jose Mourinho's team completed the group stage with a 100 percent record, although they need to be wary of CSKA's Ivory Coast forward Seydou Doumbia who has scored five goals in six Champions League games this season and 12 goals in 13 European matches in the last two years.