Allianz Arena, Munich
Tuesday 24nd November, 1:15 IST
Bayern Munich host Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday in a game that could decide the fates of the teams in Group-F. The winner of the tie will progress to the knockout stages as group winners and the other team will need to wait until the last matchday to secure qualification. However, both teams will progress with a draw, eliminating Arsenal and Dinamo Zagreb in the process.
Team News and Tactics
Although far from their best, Bayern managed a 3-1 away victory over Schalke on Saturday with David Alaba, Javi Martinez and Thomas MA?ller all scoring. The game was a drab one by Bayern standards and will quickly be forgotten.
Ahead of the crucial tie Champions League, Bayern are in imperious home form and have scored at least 4 goals in their last 6 home games, including 5-1 victories over Arsenal, Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund.
David Alaba is doubtful for the game after picking up a small knock on Saturday. His replacement Juan Bernat is nursing a long term injury and will force Pep Guardiola into a tactical reshuffle. Pepa s favourite pseudo three man backline could once again be called into action with Mehdi Benatia or Holger Badstuber starting instead of Alaba. Philipp Lahm could be pushed into midfield once again to partner Arturo Vidal and Xabi Alonso. Should Guardiola choose not to play a third center-back, the impressive Joshua Kimmich could start, adding some solidity in midfield – something that was lacking in the game vs. Schalke. The injured Mario G tze, Thiago and Franck Ribery will play no part in the game.
The explosive front line of Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Thomas MA?ller and Robert Lewandowski needs no introduction with the latter two having scored 8 goals in 4 Champions League games already. However, Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso seemed vulnerable against Schalke and the absence of Thiagoa s creativity in midfield could be a concern for the Bavarians.
Possible lineup (3-3-4): Neuer-Boateng-Martinez-Badstuber-Lahm-Alonso-Vidal-Robben-Costa-MA?ller-Lewandowski
The surprise package of the Champions League so far, Olympiacos are level with Bayern with 9 points at the top of the group. The Greeks won both their away games at Arsenal and Zagreb and their only loss came at home to Bayern on matchday 1. A single point for them in the last two games is enough to send them through to the knockouts, for the first time since 2013.
The cancellation of Olympiacosa weekend game vs. Panathanaikos because of riots meant that their last game was way back on the 8th of November against Iraklis, a game that they won 2-0. Despite the lack of game time, Olympiacos have no significant injury problems and travel to Munich with a full strength squad.
Ex-Bundesliga man and star player Kostas Fortounis has scored 7 times and assisted a further 5 goals this season and will be the visitors biggest offensive threat. Swiss international Pajtim Kasamia s strong presence in midfield could also be a crucial factor in limiting the Bayern attack.
Possible lineup (4-3-3): Roberto-Elabdellaoui-Siovas-DaCosta-Masuaku-Maniatis-Milivojevic-Kasami-Fortounis-Pardo-Ideye
Watch out for
Arguably Europea s most in-form player at the moment, Lewandowski has scored 19 goals for Bayern already this season and all 4 of his goals in the Champions League have come at home. His link-up play with MA?ller and Costa has been brilliant and the Olympiacos defence will certainly have their hands full if they hope of containing the attacking trio, the in-form Pole in particular.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos
If the game against Schalke is anything to go by, then Bayern will find it tough to break down their visitors. But going by their home form in the Champions League, a routine victory could be on the cards, especially since qualification and top spot can be wrapped up.
Blast from the past
Bayerna s 3-0 win at Greece earlier this season was the first meeting between the sides in the Champions League. Mario G tze and Thomas MA?ller (x2) were the goals scorers.