Bayern Munich will be dealt with a tricky test on Wednesday when they welcome Dynamo Kyiv at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich will have the opportunity to extend their winning run to nine games in all competitions when they play hosts to Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday, in the second matchday of the UEFA Champions League.
The German Rekordmeister had started their European campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win over FC Barcelona. It puts them in the driver’s seat in the race to finish as group E winners, although we are still in the early stages of the season.
With nine wins on the trot, a run that includes victories over Dortmund, Leipzig and Barcelona, very few would bet against Bayern dropping any points at Allianz Arena this midweek. But they will be up against a team that is more than capable of causing an upset at the biggest stage and have been performing well recently.
A disappointing 3-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in Super Cup aside, Dynamo have enjoyed a near-perfect start to the campaign, with eight wins in nine matches. They had also secured a valuable point in the opening Champions League fixture against SL Benfica.
Mircea Lucescu’s men will be hoping for the same sturdy defensive display against Bayern Munich this midweek. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their important match-up at Allianz Arena.
Team News & Tactics
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The relatively easier contest against newly-promoted Greuther Furth on the weekend had given Julian Nagelsmann to tinker with his formation a little, with the 34-year-old opting for an exciting back-three. But he is set to revert those changes, in favour of a more traditional back-four.
It does create a selection dilemma, though, with three centre-backs in Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule competing for two places. Hernandez has performed well, but given his injury absence, he could be rested for the weekend affair against Eintracht Frankfurt, allowing Upa and Sule to form the central defensive pairing.
Elsewhere in defence, Benjamin Pavard is a favourite to start, knowing he won’t be available on the weekend due to a red card against Furth. Alphonso Davies, meanwhile, will continue on the opposite side, hoping to make life difficult for the opposition with his pace and forays down the flanks.
However, it won’t be a surprise to see Davies not featuring the ninety minutes. The same applies to the likely starters in the wide attacking department in Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry, with the two likely to be shuffled with the in-form Leroy Sane around the hour mark.
Nagelsmann might not shuffle too much in central areas, with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka set to continue in the double-pivot. Depending on the opposition’s gameplan, either of these two could be sacrificed in favour of new signing Marcel Sabitzer, who offers even more aggression to the table.
Nevertheless, the Bayern Munich frontline will be led by none other than Robert Lewandowski, with Thomas Muller operating in his usual Ramdeuter role. The German international calls himself the creator of spaces but it will be interesting to see whether Dynamo Kyiv offer him any freedom in the final third this midweek.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Pavard, Upamecano, Sule, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Gnabry, Muller, Musiala; Lewandowski
Dynamo Kyiv head coach Lucescu has been unfortunate this season with all the injury blows to his star players. While his team doesn’t usually rely on strikers, at least two centre forwards in Ibrahim Kargbo and Artem Besedin are out injured while Eric Ramirez is a massive doubt.
With not too many options available, Lucescu could thus be forced to deploy Ilya Shkurin as the main number nine for the visitors, though the main scoring duties will fall upon the creative players in the likes of Viktor Tsygankov and Carlos de Pena.
Dynamo Kyiv as a team can be very versatile in the final third, which is why attacking midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskyi is among their top scorers this season. He will once again hope to rekindle that productivity against Bayern while operating alongside Mykola Shaparenko in the central midfield positions.
They will be asked to help out a little defensively, as the visitors are likely to drop deep and contain the Bayern pressure. The role of holding midfielder Sergiy Sydorchuk could be even more important, in that regard.
The Ukrainian international will be tasked with the responsibility of screening the Kyiv backline that will be without Denys Popov through injury. That leaves the young defensive duo of Ilya Zabarnyi and Oleksandr Syrota to marshall the backline, with additional assistance from fullbacks Tomasz Kedziora and Vitaliy Mykolenko.
Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Boyko; Kedziora, Zabarnyi, Syrota, Mykolenko; Sydorchuk; Tsyhankov, Buyalskyi, Shaparenko, De Pena; Shkurin
- Robert Lewandowski has scored 58 goals in 69 Champions League appearances for Bayern Munich.
- Manuel Neuer is set to make his 99th Champions League appearance as a Bayern player. He has kept 41 clean sheets.
- Thomas Muller has played in 125 Champions League matches, group stage to final – no German has made more appearances in the competition.
- Bayern Munich have scored at least once in their last 80 competitive matches – an ongoing European record.
- The record champions have scored 41 goals across nine competitive games this season alone, compared to Kyiv’s 25 in 11.
Player to Watch
After his run of scoring in 19 consecutive games in all competitions for Bayern Munich came to an end in the weekend game against newly-promoted Greuther Furth, the spotlight will be on Robert Lewandowski this week and whether or not he can recover his scoring boots once again.
The Pole hasn’t quite performed well against smaller teams this season, especially ones who drop deep and mark him out of the game; While it is indeed a daunting proposition for any defence in the world and very few manage it, Dynamo Kyiv are certainly expected to embrace that method in an attempt to stop him from finding the back of the net.
For Lewandowski, maintaining his scoring run could be critical if he is to beat Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or title. The veteran forward has already made an impact with a phenomenal display against Barcelona and with the Argentine struggling at PSG, this is an ideal chance for him to land the elusive individual award he so thoroughly deserves.
Bayern Munich 3-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Bayern Munich are on a roll at the moment and their momentum is unlikely to die down anytime soon, especially with the attacking players finding their rhythm at the right time. Added to that, the Bavarians will have the home support behind them, cheering them on against a Dynamo Kyiv side that is in good form but lack the kind of quality that is needed oust the German Rekordmeister.
We are thus expecting the hosts to dominate the proceedings, perhaps even secure another 3-0 victory, with the likes of Lewandowski and Muller likely to star once again.