FC BAYERN MUNCHEN
Allianz Arena, Munich
March 30, 2010
Memories will come running back this Tuesday. Though all eyes will be on the Allianz Arena, there will be quite a few Germans in the stadium whose minds will waver and the images of Nou Camp’99 will flash across their eyes. It’s the 1999 final re-match as Bayern Munich takes on Manchester United in one of the most glamourous ties of this years Champions League knockout stages.
With seven European trophies between them, there is enormous history preceding this clash. Bayern’s last European win was nine years ago, when they beat United on the way. United, on the other hand, added to their European account two years ago in Moscow.
Bayern Munich are the only German representatives in the competition and if the German-English rivalry is anything to go by, expect a hostile reception for the English champions.
Bayern Munich may have never lost to Sir Alex’s side ever since the Champions League Final of 98-99 but the pain of that loss at Camp Nou still hurts the club more than anything. Louis Van Gaal’s lads will be eager to gain advantage when they host United in the first leg of their Champion’s League Quarter Final match. Bayern have done it the hard way in the Champions League, beating Juventus in a must-win group stage game in Turin; followed by a narrow late win against Fiorentina in Florence.
Injury update: The tie’s most crucial moment may have already come before the match. Arjen Robben’s vital presence is a major doubt after he limped off die to a calf-injury at the weekend. Mario Gomez and Martin Demichelis have returned after an injury lay-off.
Suspension update: Bastian Schweinsteiger will miss the game due to a one-match suspension.
Squad Update: With all the headlines being the doubt on Arjen Robben’s presence for the match, Bayern Munich still have a decent enough squad with big names like Frank Ribery, Marco Van Bommel and Miroslav Klose to play along with emerging stars like Pranjic, Muller and Badstuber.
Predicted Line up:
Lahm Van Buyten Demichelis Badstuber
Mueller Van Bommel Pranjic Ribery
From Bayern Munich’s corner:
It’ll be tough for Louis Van Gaal to manage Bayern against a United side, who are in staggering form at the moment. The odds will be against them without their star man Arjen Robben, but Franck Ribery will try to exploit the aging Gary Neville or the young Rafael on United’s right. Watch out for Van Bommel as he has a reputation of getting in people’s faces – often the referees as well.
However, over the years “Never write off the Germans” has been a general consensus throughout the world; just ask Juventus. TheHardTackle believes the home crowd will make it really tough for the away side, and the first goal will be crucial.
Bayern Munich holds a place second to none in United’s European history. From the Munich disaster en route home from a European Cup quarter-final success in Belgrade to the glorious triumph against Munich at the Nou Camp – their visits to the home of the German giants have been engrossing to say the least. Next week could possibly be a season defining one as, after traveling to Munich, United entertain Chelsea at Old Trafford.
Injury Update: Manchester United don’t have any fresh injury woes. Michael Owen is out for the season, while Andersson and Wes Brown all out for long spell on the sidelines. John O’Shea is due back next week as well.
Squad Update: Sir Alex rested his star striker Rooney and Rio Ferdinand against Bolton this weekend, so rest assured the duo will start in Germany. Ryan Giggs recent return is also a major boost for the English side, not to mention the devastating form of both wingers – Nani and Valencia.
Van Der Sar
Neville Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Nani Fletcher Carrick Park
From Manchester United’s Corner:
United’s form coming into the game has been pretty decent. The goals have been flowing in of late and the back four has had a stable look for the first time this season; the results are there for all to see. Sir Alex’s men can play this one just like they have played the big away games of late, Arsenal at the Emirates being a prime example. Absorbing pressure and hitting FC Hollywood on the counters would be an option Sir would contemplate for sure.
United invariably go in with a five-man midfield in such titanic encounters with Wayne Rooney as the lone man upfront. Die Roten have one of the most lethal duo of wingers in their ranks. Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben each have the capability of winning the tie on their own, meaning Patrice Evra and Gary Neville have their work cut out as halting the wingers’ marauding run is no mean feat.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Manchester United
It will be a tight game where home advantage will help Bayern, but the first leg will leave the game well-balanced for the second leg – if Robben can recover.