Bayern will have a chance to get back to winning ways and start afresh when they welcome Olympiacos in their Champions League group game at the Allianz Arena.
It has been a busy week for Bayern Munich with Niko Kovac parting ways and Hansi Flick taking charge as the interim manager. However, with everything that has happened Bayern will look to start afresh with a win when they welcome Olympiacos for their Champions League fixture at the Allianz Arena.
The Bavarians are coming into this game on the back of a humbling 1-5 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga and will look to get their winning rhythm back against the Greek outfit. Despite being crisp in attack they have struggled to find defensive organization this season. With Bayern just edging the reverse fixture 3-2, they will be wary of the threat that Olympiacos can be on their night.
Olympiacos is a side which enjoys domestic domination but have failed to replicate that form in European competitions. However one should take this Greek outfit lightly at their own peril as they almost forced Bayern to drop points in the reverse fixture.
Pedro Martins’ men are coming to this game with a 0-0 draw against Xanthi in the Greece Super League where they are two points clear at the top of the table. The 49-yer old tactician will feel this is the best opportunity to cause Bayern some problems and return with a positive result as there is a sense of uncertainty in the clouds for the German champions.
Team News & Tactics
Bayern have a relatively long injury list with players like Niklas Sule out for the season with a knee injury and it will only increase Hansi Flick’s defensive woes as summer signing Lucas Hernandez is also sidelined till December with an ankle injury. Youngster Jan Fiete Arp also remains out with a broken wrist.
Flick will most likely opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation providing sufficient steel in midfield to control play. In defence, Jerome Boateng and Benjamin Pavard will play at the heart of the defence with David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich picking themselves automatically for both full-back spots.
Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara ought to form the partnership in the middle of the park for Bayern. However, Kimmich is also an option for the manager for a midfield berth, along with Leon Goretzka.
Ivan Perisic may come in the squad in place of Serge Gnabry, who may take a rest and start this one from the bench. However, Kingsley Coman is likely to start on the right flank with Thomas Muller playing behind Bayern’s talisman Robert Lewandowski.
Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Pavard, Alaba; Martinez, Thiago; Coman, Muller, Perisic; Lewandowski
Pedro Martins will also miss a few players in this game as Vasilios Torosidis is recovering from his back injury and might not be rushed back into action. Mathieu Valbuena also makes it to the list of players doubtful for the clash due to muscular problem. while long term injury concern Kostas Fortounis will miss this fixture with on-loan french winger Yassine Benzia also out.
The Red and Whites will have Ruben Semedo and Avraam Papadopoulos in central defence with skipper Omar Elabdellaoui slotting as the right-back and Konstantinos Tsimikas taking the left-back spot.
Brazilian midfielder Guilherme will be the midfielder shielding the backline and initiating the buildups, while players like Daniel Podence, Mady Camara and Andreas Bouchalakis will look to support the lone striker Youssef El-Arabi. Valbuena may make an appearance from the bench to add more energy to their play later in the game with Algerian winger Hilal Soudani also available in Martins’ ranks.
Predicted Lineup (4-1-4-1): Sa; Elabdellaoui, Semedo, Papadopoulos, Tsimikas; Guilherme; Podence, Camara, Bouchalakis, Masouras; El Arabi
- Bayern have scored 13 Champions League goals in this season’s group stages – more than any club after three matches.
- Bayern Munich enjoy a 100% record against Olympiacos winning three matches in the UEFA Champions League, the stat is only bettered against Besiktas and CSKA Moscow with four wins out of four.
- Olympiacos have lost their last four away games played in the group stages of the Champions League.
- The Greek outfit have conceded at least twice in each of their Champions League group games this season.
- The Bavarians have won 27 out of their last 29 home UEFA Champions League group fixtures ( W27 D1 L1) and one of them came against Olympiacos (4-0) way back in November 2015.
Player to Watch
If not him then who? Lewandowski has been Bayern’s most consistent performer this season as he has kept on scoring goals and even when they were humbled by Frankfurt the solitary goal was scored by the Polish marksman. He has been a reliable leader upfront to whom the fans and players can look up to. There is a different fire in him this season as his hunger for goals is very evident by his commitment on the pitch every game.
The 31-year old has already scored a staggering 20 goals this season thus far and will look to add to that tally against Olympiacos as he scored a brace in the reverse fixture allowing Bayern to bag all three points. With the ambience around the club uncertain Lewandowski will look to inspire this Bayern side which needs to starts afresh.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Olympiacos
Olympiacos are a side that can be tricky and if they are underestimated then Pedro Martins’ men have the capability to cause some danger to the opposition. Considering the cloud of uncertainty in Bavaria this is probably their best opportunity to turn things around and rewrite history.
However, Bayern will be desperate to claw their way back from an embarrassing defeat against Frankfurt and therefore they will look to come out strongly against the Greek outfit. Considering Bayern’s quality and Lewandowski’s rich run of form, the German champions are looking favourites to win this clash. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Bayern Munich.