Group Stage Fan Preview: Bayern Munich
Well, Bayern Munich are up for another year of the Champions League. It’s now been 5 years since they last won the treble, they’ve been through 2 coaches since then (and maybe more soon with rumors of Ancelotti leaving) and they still haven’t made it to the CL Final. Can they do it this year?
I am confident that we’ll win the Bundesliga again, with Leipzig and Dortmund still not at Bayern’s level, but Champions League is another story. This summer, we upgraded our squad-James Rodriguez, Corentin Tolisso, Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy came, and Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm left. Now, that’s a lot more youth in the squad, but is it enough to win the CL?
Thiago Alcantara: An absolute magician on the pitch, Thiago can weave his way around midfield, pass at all angles and lengths, and defend too. For me, he was our most important player last season, and I really think he can become the best midfielder in the world at this rate. Under Pep, the man who brought him in, he struggled, but now, under Carlo Ancelotti, he has become our most important midfielder.
Robert Lewandowski: Each time you see his stats and performances, it makes you marvel at how Bayern got him for free. Along with Arjen Robben, he is our most important attacker, and he can really do it all. Hold it up. Head it in. Shoot from long distance. He does it all. Best striker in the world.
There are certain weak points with this team. I think that the fullbacks are weaker than usual, with Alaba struggling and Kimmich still adapting. However, there are bigger holes. Without Lewandowski, the team has no attack, and without Thiago, no midfield. The key to our chances will be keeping them both fit.
After our loss to Hoffenheim, Bayern are now in 6th place. They’ll recover, but the key test for Ancelotti will be in his bread and butter, the Champions League, of which he is the master of.
We play the Belgians first, and it should be a cakewalk, with Youri Tielemans gone, but it never is that easy. I’m worried that they might catch us by surprise today, the same way Porto did.
I am not looking forward to this one. The Parisiens are on fire, they got 3 world class players this summer, and I think they will finish first in this group. Still, Ancelotti knows PSG, and he’s a better coach than Emery, so we might have a shot. If we can win the midfield battle, we can win the group.
I’ll be honest, I don’t watch Scottish football much but Celtic are a very dominant team, like Bayern, who have won nearly every title for the past few years. They’ve got a few decent young players like Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts, who Bayern should worry about, who can truly do damage.
Prediction: I expect us to finish second and get knocked out at the semis. I hope I’m wrong, because this team can truly win it all, but it depends on the factors.
By: Ryan Johnson