For this preview, Zach Lowy interviews 1860 Munich fan and Bundesliga expert Manuel Veth.
ZL: Your expectations for the tie?
MV: Bayern will win by an aggregate score of 5-0 to 10-2, they will absolutely steam roll anyone in this competition.
ZL: Strongest Bayern team you’ve seen since __?
ZL: What does this team have that Pep’s/Ancelotti’s teams didn’t?
MV: Jupp Heynckes.
ZL: And why is that so much more important than having Pep or Ancelotti?
MV: Because Jupp Heynckes is not only tactically sound but he is also an emotional leader who is 100% capable of tapping into the players emotions which is an invaluable quantity at this level, not to forget his experience of having it done all before.
ZL: Compare this to 12/13, is this team better in any aspects to 12/13?
MV: This side has Lewandowski, Vidal, James, Tolisso and a Ribery as well as Robben who want to show the world that they are not done yet. Oh, and Kimmich, Hummels…yeah they are going to win it. Just going to say it now, and I am an 1860 fan.
ZL: Say they come up against RM or Barcelona, how do they beat them?
MV: I think Real will be gone after this round, so no worries there. As for Barca they will just tiki-taka them to the wall like they did in 2013.
ZL: In that case, any worries with Juve or City?
MV: Juve will full on go via the emotional route which doesn’t work well against teams like Bayern that almost play like machines. City could be dangerous but Heynckes has shown in the past that he can see through Pep’s tiki-taka football.
ZL: Will Neuer return before the World Cup?
MV: He is in running practice, so yes, I reckon [CL] semifinals.
ZL: Who would you say is the most crucial Bayern player right now?
MV: Lewandowski, James, Hummels, Boateng.
ZL: Is there a chance that this lack of competition can have adverse effects for Bayern?
MV: Well all the top teams in the competition are suffering from that. City are clear at the top of the table, Juve have more or less wrapped it up. Barca are done. Real, together with Barca, play in a league where anyone below tenth place wouldn’t be able to be competitive in the second division in England or Germany. So no, I don’t think it matters.
ZL: Biggest surprise for you about Bayern this season?
MV: Quick turnaround after Ancelotti got fired.
Photo: Stuart Franklin