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Bavarian Football Works
Champions League predictions: can Bayern Munich reach the Champions League final? - Bavarian Football Works
In this BFW roundtable, we discuss Bayern Munich’s Champions League draw and debate which teams will play for it all in the final.
Most football supporters know that one should never take anything for granted when it comes to the beautiful game. Bayern Munich has one more game to play in the round of 16 but due to the unique situation the world has found themselves in, the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws were made this morning. If Bayern eliminates Chelsea, they will face either FC Barcelona or Napoli in the quarters. If Hansi Flick men reach the semi-final they will face one out of four teams: Manchester City, Real Madrid, Juventus, or Napoli. So, what does this mean for Bayern? Is the potential road to the final doable or are there too many obstacles? We decided to read the mood amongst BFW contributors by asking them two questions: 1. How do you feel about Bayerns draw? Marcus Iredahl: A difficult draw for Bayern. The fact that only one from Bayern, Juventus, Manchester City, and Real Madrid can reach the final speaks volumes. Bayern can, on their day, win against any team in the world, but this is a tough draw. While I am not sure Barcelona will eliminate Napoli from the tournament, playing either team would be a tough task. Under Gennaro Gattuso, Napoli has played well and looks very solid defensively. Barcelona has not impressed under Quique Setien but has many players who can single-handedly decide football games. A potential semi-final can very well be against Cristiano Ronaldos Juventus, Pep Guardiolas Manchester City, or the Champions Leagues record-holders. Thats as tough as it gets, but the other teams will feel the same. Fergus: I agree that Bayern has drawn the short straw here. All four of the tournament favorites are in Bayerns bracket, and it will be very tough for the team to advance past Barcelona and Manchester City or Real Madrid. However, to be the best, you must beat the best, and I believe we still should go into every match with a favorites tag. All I know is that every potential match will be an exhilarating fest of entertaining football. I cant wait. John Dillon: I feel pretty good about the draw. Presuming Bayern dispatches Chelsea, Bayern is a stronger team than either Barca or Napoli. Barca is a mess this season, and I think Bayern can beat Napoli. Past that, Id rather face City than Real Madrid. Im so sick of Real Madrid. Novaburgher: I also am feeling pretty good about our draw for the next round of the Champions League. Not that we should look past our next match with Chelsea, but looking beyond it, Im not that scared of Barca or Napoli. If I had a preference, it would be Napoli, but Barca is beatable this year. Schnitzel01: I feel cautiously optimistic about the quarter-final draw. Assuming Barca beat Napoli at home in the second leg of the Ro16, well face Barcelona in the QF, provided that we beat Chelsea. Sure, Barcelona is not at their best at the moment, but theres always a level of uncertainty revolving the form of both teams after a month. Also, Messi. Bayern will have their work cut out for them, but I think well be up to the task. Regarding the semis: If we qualify, I predict well face Real Madrid/City. That would be one hell of a match-up, and a nervy one at that. Im not too pleased about this fixture, but you have to beat them all to win it all. Teddy Son: Honestly, Im a bit indifferent about the draw. For one thing, were not even in the quarterfinals yet, so this is a match-up that may or may not exist come August. Assuming we advance, however, that wouldnt make me more or less nervous. Both Barcelona and Napoli are formidable opponents. I know they may not be having the best season right now, but they are teams that can easily inflict heavy damage on whoever they play, especially when its a one-off game like this. Itll be exciting, whoever comes up. Again, though lets get to the quarterfinals and go from there. 2. Who do you think will play in the final? Marcus Iredahl: Manchester City versus Atletico. I think this one-game format will benefit Diego Simeones men and their tactical style. And I believe Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will be extra motivated to succeed in Europe this year plus they have looked good since the Premier League restart. Teddy Son: I think Atletico has a decent shot of going all the way. They face an inexperienced Leipzig in the quarterfinals (without Timo Werner as well), and I cant see either Atalanta or PSG getting past that Atletico defense easily. As for the other side of the bracket, well, its even harder, considering there are eight teams to choose from rather than four. But you know what, Im going to put us in the final. Our form is the very best in Europe at the moment, and although we might be a bit rusty coming off a month of rest, I have faith in Hansi Flick and his men. Flick also knows how to navigate these one-off tournaments, having assisted Germanys World Cup win in 2014, not to mention lead his team to a DFB-Pokal triumph just last week. Im not overly optimistic, but a guy can dream, right? We shall see. Fergus: I still think Bayern have the best chance in their bracket. And, on the other side of the draw, I think dark horses (or should I say Lawnballers?) RB Leipzig will be the other team in the final. An all-German final? Yes, and what a thrilling match this would be. It went well in 2013... John Dillon: Nah, PSG is the overwhelming favorite on the other side of the bracket. Its their spot in the final to lose, so to speak. On paper, it should be the Bayern or Manchester City who faces them. I think Bayern can beat City this season. Defense wins championships, as Boateng recently quipped. Hopefully, that is just what Bayern does and then does again to PSG. But in a knockout format, anything can happen. Novaburgher: If we should reach the final, my prediction is that we will face PSG. The thought of a Champions League final with Atletico is just too much to even think about, whereas a final against the Parisians would be a wild 90 minute free for all. The road to get there, however, is brutal. A possible date with Manchester City looms, and with them facing a 2-year ban on UEFA competitions, this could be there last shot at Champions League glory. Schnitzel01: I think the finals will be a glamorous affair of Bayern vs PSG, good management vs wealth, Davies vs Mbappe, Kalle vs Khelaifi, Flick vs Tuchel. How do you, our BFW community, feel about the draw? What are your predictions?
Confirmed: Bayern Munich will face Barcelona or Napoli in the Champions League quarter finals - Bavarian Football Works
In addition, the semi final matchups have been revealed. Now, we have to get past Chelsea.
Its official! As long as Bayern Munich make it past Chelsea, the club will face the winner of the game between Barcelona and Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. For reference, Barca is drawn with Napoli 1-1 on aggregate, but lead on away goals. This is a juicy tie, regardless of who goes through. The favorites will be Barcelona, but Napoli could still cause an upset. If the Catalans do go through, this would be a prime opportunity for Bayern to get revenge for the loss in the semi-finals of the UCL in 2015, where Barca beat Pep Guardiolas side 5-3 on aggregate en-route to a second historic treble. With players like Leo Messi and Thomas Muller on display, this tie is certain to be an incredible game of football. Also, both teams have ties to each other in the form of former players Thiago Alcantara moved from Barca to Munich in 2013, and Philippe Coutinho is currently on loan from the Catalans, while Arturo Vidal moved from Bayern to Barcelona two years ago. Heres the official confirmation of the draws by UEFA: The winner of this game will face the winner of Manchester City / Real Madrid vs Lyon / Juventus in the semi-final. Looks like the football gods have given Hansi Flick the toughest possible route to the UCL final. Lets see if the boys are up to the challenge. Update: Heres a look at the brackets.
Robert Lewandowski is the Bundesliga’s top scorer for the 5th time - Bavarian Football Works
Lewandowski has won the Torjägerkanone for the third season in a row.
Robert Lewandowski scored his 34th goal of the season against Wolfsburg and secured the Bundesligas Golden Boot for the third consecutive season. Its the big Polish strikers fifth time winning the award in his time in Germany and fourth time with Bayern. Lewandowskis 34 goals this season ties him with Dieter Müller for the most goals scored in a single Bundesliga by a non-Gerd Müller player. Der Bomber hit 36, 38, and an unbelievable 40 goals. This is the third time in his career that Lewandowski has hit the 30 goal threshold in a single season. Only Müller (Gerd, of course) did it more times in a single season (5!). Lewandowski was in the form of his life this season, banging in goals with ease at times. He did benefit from the COVID-19 break coming at the same time he needed an operation, so he didnt miss any significant amount of games. Still, finishing a 34 game season with 34 goals is an incredible achievement. Photo by KAI PFAFFENBACH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Daily Schmankerl: Everton “offered” Coutinho, Alaba to Liverpool or Chelsea, Luis Suarez availlable for just … - Bavarian Football Works
Also: Sadio Mane forgets to take a knee, a terrible corner from “the best league in the world”
Phillipe Coutinho offered to Everton According to the Transfer window podcast, via 90min, the little magicians agent has given Everton the chance to sign the Brazillian on a one year loan deal. And, Barcelona would even pay 30% of Coutinhos extortionist wages to make the deal happen. But could we really see Bayerns current 10 play for the Toffees? Im not so sure. Afterall, Coutinho has strong links with the other big club in Merseyside and probably still has aspirations to fight for titles (which the English Schalke would not be able to afford him). Therefore, a move to a club with significantly more prestige, quality and resources should be expected. Luis Suarez is available for just ten million pounds! (The Sun) Luis Suarez has been one of Europes deadliest strikers over the past decade and is still banging in the goals for FC Barcelona. However, The Sun alleges that hes on the transfer market for a meager fee of just ten million pounds. Oops, nevermind. Wrong Luis Suarez. The real person in question is Luis Suarez of Watford. The Colombian has been on fire this season, playing on loan in Spains second division. So much so, that Top La Liga sides are interested (in him) if the price is right. Perhaps one of those top clubs is Barcelona there, the Colombian could link up up front with his Uruguayan namesake. Chelsea and Liverpool in for David Alaba (Daily Mail via Sports Mole) Bayern Munichs David Alaba has been one of the Germans top five players throughout the season. However, the Austrians contract is up in just one year and its still unclear as to whether it will be extended. Thats where Chelsea and Liverpool come in. The Londoners are primarily interested in Ben Chillwell for the left back role, but Alaba is seen as a second choice if they are not able to secure the Leicester man. As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp wants a left back and center back the versitle Austrian would kill two birds with one stone. Yet, when they were (probably) concocting this (probably) baseless rumor, the mail fail seemed to forget that Alaba has little intention of playing at LB anymore. So much so, that Bayerns current coach, Hansi Flick, has promised the Austrian that he will play at CB or CM under his leadership. All this, making these rumours less than credible. As if they werent already that... Sadio Mane forgets to take a knee... Poor quality in the premier league since return When the Bundesliga returned, many people were tuning into the league for the first time. However, some folks started criticizing the quality of the Bundesliga defenders and the league in general. However, since the Premier League came back, rust and a lack of quality has also been present with a number of high profile gaffes already having taken place. Whod have thought? From the greatest sports league known to man ... This clip by No Context Hearn is a reflection on the PLs current quality:
Breaking: Pep Guardiola confirms Bayern Munich target Leroy Sane will leave Manchester City - Bavarian Football Works
The transfer keeps coming closer and closer to fruition. It’s just a matter of Bayern getting it over the line.
Big (but not unexpected) news Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Leroy Sane will leave the club. The German winger has been chased by Bayern Munich for over a year now. Guardiolas admission is another sign that the wingers move to Munich is materializing, albeit slower than the fans would like to see. Heres confirmation of Peps quote, from the Athletic UKs City correspondent Sam Lee: Guardiola: Leroy says he doesnt want to extend his contract. That means hes going to leave. Says Sane has rejected a new contract two or three times. Thats that, then Sam Lee (@SamLee) June 19, 2020 Guardiola on Sane: If we find an agreement with a club he will leave this summer, if not hell stay another year and will leave at the end of his contract. Sam Lee (@SamLee) June 19, 2020 Of course, Pep never did mention which club Sane might go to. But he surely knows that his former employer is on the hunt for a new winger. You only need to look at this Freudian slip up from earlier in the season to realize that Pep still has Bayern on the brain. This was an utter gem: Now, the question remains for Bayern fans when will Sane get here? This summer, or the next? Bayern need a new winger right now, to fill the void left by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. However, if Man Citys demands get too exorbitant, the bosses could end up waiting till next summer, given the difficulty of spending large amounts of money in a post-corona market. Whatever happens, this admission by Pep is the first sign that City may be resigned to letting Sane leave. The transfer almost feels inevitable though this is a good time to remind everyone that things can change VERY quickly in football. Lets not get carried away by good news, nothing is official as of yet.
UEFA releases Champions League schedule for August - Bavarian Football Works
Finally, after months of speculation, UEFA has released their updated schedule for the 2019/20 Champions League
UEFA has finally narrowed in on its plan to complete the 2019/20 Champions League tournament. According to their press release, UEFA is going to complete all the remaining games in August. The remaining rounds will all be held in Lisbon in single knockout games. The round of 16 games that are left on the schedule will take place the 7/8 of August but it has yet to be determined whether they will be played in Lisbon or the teams original venues. So we will see whether Bayern play the second leg against Chelsea at the Allianz or a neutral site. The schedule looks as follows: Round of 16 - August 7-8 Quarterfinals - August 12-15 Semifinals - August 18-19 Final - August 23 All matches will be played behind closed doors and subject to new roster rules. Clubs will be allowed to register 3 new players to their squads provided they were already on the team and eligible for inclusion. No new transfers will be allowed (ahem Chelsea and Mr. Werner). The single knockout matches will likely lead to some upsets, as overall quality and depth seems to balance out over two encounters, which will make teams change their particular strategies. Bayern Munich roll into the 2nd leg against Chelsea FC with a significant advantage, following the 3-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge, and their current form is likely to continue throughout the quarter finals. Here we come Lisbon!
Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt: GOAL! Lewandowski makes it 2-1 after VAR check! - Bavarian Football Works
Bayern Munich head to another DFB Pokal final.
Initial reactions and observations
- Hansis initial substitutions were weak. Making two defensive moves almost backfired when Frankfurt got one back. Luckily Bayern still managed to break through Frankfurt one last time.
- Watching Lucas Hernandez almost murder Hinteregger was very entertaining.
- Kingsley Coman had a good game despite two mishit shots. This is an exaggeration-free zone. People saying that we should sell him are jumping the gun.
- Subbing on Javi Martinez at the end was the right decision. His height and general aerial dominance paid off by keeping Frankfurt at bay on the numerous set pieces the team conceded. Hansi will want to work on closing games like these out.
- Bayerns attack remains a wrecking ball thanks to Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski. Itll be interesting to see how the team handles their absence against Gladbach this weekend.
- Bayern are swarming Frankfurt. How more goals havent been scored is a mystery.
- Thomas Muller has been amazing yet again.
- Kingsley Coman lacks his finishing boots, but hes been dangerous in other ways. Close to an assist several times.
- Robert Lewandowski hasnt had as many clear cut chances as his colleagues, he should fix that in the second half.
- David Alaba is a midfielder at this point. You cant convince me otherwise. Hes playing exactly like a deep lying playmaker, almost akin to Xabi Alonso. What a player, get his contract signed and sealed.
- If youre a new member, feel free to introduce yourself. Were mostly very friendly! Also, were from all parts of the world so dont feel shy if youre from a country that doesnt seem represented on the blog.
- SBN is a little slow to show new comments. Refresh the page regularly to keep up with the discussion, especially after goals.
- The goal celebrations are for everyone to participate in! Even if youre lagging behind the others, keep replying to the most recent call of the players name. Even if you missed the first call, just start from the second, and so on.
- While swearing is allowed within reason, please be polite to your fellow posters and avoid gratuitous obscenities. Racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language is not allowed whatsoever.
Three observations from Bayern Munich’s 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen - Bavarian Football Works
A slow start by Bayern was rectified by two rapid goals just before halftime, breaking Leverkusen’s resolve.
Buffretzka is Bestretzka What did Leon Goretzka DO during lockdown? What did they FEED him? Hes a monster. Since the restart, the guy has been an absolute tank in midfield for Bayern Munich. Starting alongside Joshua Kimmich today, Goretzka terrorized Bayer Leverkusen all throughout the game. The 25-year-old German pressed and ran like a maniac, and it was his slicing pass that opened up Kingsley Coman for the Bavarians equalizer. Then there was his goal, which was a thundering counterattack started by his own pass. Goretzkas display gets a 10/10 a true MotM performance. The game also shows his development as a footballer. Goretzkas not just focused on his physicality anymore, hes elevated his game to the point where hes doing everything that should be expected of a midfielder, kind of like a prototype of Bastian Schweinsteiger. The way hes improved leads me to only one conclusion Leon stores his football knowledge in his biceps. Swoleretzkas renaissance gives Hansi Flick another selection headache to deal with, as it means hell have to put Thiago Alcantara on the bench. Who will he choose to go forward with? Its a tough question, made tougher by the Spaniards contract situation. Lets hope he finds the right answer. A different winger setup After Leverkusen scored the opener, Bayern Munich shifted the standard formation around. Coman went across to link up with Alphonso Davies on the left, while Serge Gnabry took the Frenchmans position on the right. It was an interesting tactical switch by Hansi Flick that clearly yielded results both wingers ended up with goals but why did he do it? Perhaps it was just a matter of giving Davies a more like-for-like partner on the left. With Comans pace, the pair could double-team Amiri and cause havoc on Bayers right. According to Whoscored, over 40% of Bayerns attacks came from the left hand side of the pitch, with only 28% and 32% coming from the middle and right respectively. Overloading this side of the pitch was apparently the goal of the switch, and it worked brilliantly to open up Leverkusen Bayerns opener came from a Coman run down the left hand side. However, if it is this effective, you have to wonder why Bayern dont use this setup more often. Perhaps the reason is that overloading one wing wont work against more compact teams, and this was just a one-off by Hansi to gain the upper-hand against Bosz. In any case, its an interesting tactical scenario to ponder. Bayern Munich can look very different depending on which winger plays on which flank. Its a form of tactical flexibility that may give the club an edge in bigger games. Its a crime that Thomas Müller isnt on the national team anymore Thomas Müller was sublime once again. With assists for Leon Goretzka and Robert Lewandowski, he brings his total for the season up to twenty. Twenty assists thats how many Thomas Müller has managed in the Bundesliga this season. Hes well on course to break Kevin De Bruynes assist record, and hes doing it in a year in which the coach didnt let him start two months in a row. Instead of rehearsing Niko Kovacs transgressions for the millionth time in a row, lets instead focus our metaphorical laser-beams at Germany coach Joachim Low. This guy seriously intends to go into the Euros next year without the best attacking midfielder in the world. Are people at the DFB watching these games? How can they not be questioning Jogis judgement yet? Its a shame hell miss the game against Mönchengladbach. Hopefully whoever takes his place can keep Bayerns momentum going. 20 - Thomas Müller is the first player in Europe's top five leagues to reach 20 league assists in a single season since Kevin De Bruyne for VfL Wolfsburg in 2014-15. Wunderbar. pic.twitter.com/yPwF7jhJNQ OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 6, 2020 Miscellaneous observations:
- Hansi uses Bayerns 80m euro record transfer for time wasting. Big Flick Energy right there.
- The ref was questionable. How Muller and Lewandowski were carded is a mystery.
- Not getting to see Kai Havertz in this game was a huge disappointment. He might have made a huge difference in Bayers attack.
- Ivan Perisic isnt amazing.
- Manuel Neuer probably didnt appreciate conceding a last-minute goal against a 17-year-old. Bayerns defending in general was all over the place.