Jupp Heynckes will be keen to mark his return in Europe as the manager of Bayern Munich with a win over Celtic in Group B of UEFA Champions League.
Bayern Munich are off to a poor start by their lofty standards, both domestically and in Europe. A 3-0 thrashing at the hands of PSG left them tied for second place with Celtic, edging the Scottish champions only on goal difference. But, Jupp Heynckes’ timely return is sure to rejuvenate an otherwise jaded side.
Celtic on the other hand, have just broken the record for most games unbeaten in a domestic league by a European club and with Bayern Munich not exactly in the best of shapes right now, Brendan Rodgers would be hoping his side is able to snatch a shock result at the Allianz Arena.
We at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Perhaps the biggest downturn of their recent season has been caused by the injury to Manuel Neuer, who remains on the sidelines for the Celtic game along with Franck Ribery and Javi Martinez, who has been ruled out for the next couple of matches at the very least.
Juan Bernat is also a doubt for the Wednesday fixture and Heynckes will have to rely on the players at his disposal to get the desired result – a resounding win. Sven Ulreich is expected to deputise in goal in Neuer’s absence and he will be looking to improve on his outings thus far, which have left a lot to be desired from the former Stuttgart man.
Mats Hummels is likely to appear in his maiden Champions League match of the present campaign and will be raring to keep a clean sheet in his very first match. One of the positives of Heynckes’ return is the regained importance of Thomas Muller within the first-team setup at the club and the German is set to start again behind Robert Lewandowski.
Heynckes’ domestic return was a resounding success and he will be looking for the same sort of response from his players in the Champions League as well. The onlookers are likely to be treated to the free flowing footballing philosophy associated with the club’s legacy.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba; Vidal, Thiago; Robben, Muller, Coman; Lewandowski
Anthony Ralston is perhaps the only absentee for Brendan Rodgers for the match against Bayern Munich. Jozo Simunovic picked up a knock earlier but Rodgers would be hoping the player can overcome the minor injury to feature on Wednesday.
Otherwise, there are no injury issues for the Scottish champions, despite some reports claiming Scott Brown to be another absentee due to a knee injury.
Rodgers will likely set his team up to counter the Bayern pressure during the game and the onus will be on the pace and guile of Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts on the wings to deliver the necessary balls to Leigh Griffiths.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Lustig, Sviatchenko, Boyata, Tierney; Bitton, Ntcham; Roberts, Rogic, Sinclair; Griffiths
1. Bayern Munich have met Celtic only twice in the Champions League, winning one while drawing the other game.
2. There have been atleast 3 goals in the matches involving either team in their last 4 respective games in the competition.
3. Robert Lewandowski has 24 goals and 7 assists in 35 Champions League appearances for Bayern Munich.
4. Arjen Robben is set for his 100th UEFA Champions League match in his career.
5. Celtic have won just 3 of the 20 matches played against German teams so far in European competitions, drawing 5 and losing the other 12 games.
Player to Watch
Sidelined to the bench for majority of the games under Carlo Ancelotti, one of the first moves of Jupp Heynckes was to highlight the quality Thomas Muller possesses and his importance to the Bayern first-team.
An assist to mark his first match under Heynckes, Muller would be looking to kick on and deliver better returns to show just how wrong Ancelotti was to undermine his importance for the Bavarians.
Bayern Munich 5-1 Celtic
Jupp Heynckes’ return to the helm at Bayern Munich has their fans, players and almost everyone believing in their renaissance. The Bavarians kicked it off with a 5-0 win over Freiburg and are expected to be their rampant selves again as Celtic come to visit. Expect a thumping win and perhaps a repeat of the 5-0 scoreline.