Monday, 21 November 2011

Champions League - Preview FC Bayern Muenchen vs Villareal

Matchday 5 goes on Tuesday November 22nd.  In four games FC Bayern has been able to edge out a six point lead in Group A.  Villareal, currently with no points, will be traveling to the Allianz Arena in Munich, while Manchester City travels to Napoli.  Kick off is at 20:45 CET for both matches. 

Bayern, which prior to this weekend looked like it may be a run away leader in the Bundesliga, lost to defending Bundesliga champion in a close match on a goal by Mario Goetze.  The match looked destined to be a scoreless draw, but Dortmund's defence closed the door to Bayern and relied on quick counters.  The strategy paid off.  Munich still retains a two point lead in the Bundesliga, but is far from a runaway leader now. 

For the match on Tuesday, Bastian Schweinsteiger is still on the injury list, with a broken collar bone, Arjen Robben, who played against Dortmund did not impress.  Ribery, Mueller and Kroos are available, as is Tymoschuk, who was banned for a red card during league play. 

Mario Gomez has been hot or cold this season.  During the Dortmund game, he seldom made use of the opportunities presented to him.  If he is hot on Tuesday he could be key to a Munich victory.  Mueller, Kroos and Ribery are bound to take a few more shots on goal as well. 

With four straight defeats,  Villareal has the worst record in its nine-year Champions League  history. The team  has also lost their last four away matches in UEFA club competition.

Villareal goes into the match with a dismal record of four losses and a goal deficit of minus 8. Villareal has little chance of making it past the Group stage, there is pride at play though. Villareal just comes off a hard fought victory against Real Betis this weekend, which may give the impetus to take the fight to Munich. 

                                    GP    W     D      L     GF/FA      Points
FC Bayern                    4      4      0      0       8-3         12
Manchester City           4       2     1     1        6-4           6
Napoli                           4       1      2     1       6-5           5
Villareal                        4       0      0     4       1-9           0 

While one should not count his chickens before they're hatched, the contest in the Allianz Arena looks like a victory for FC Bayern.  Munich will want to wrap up Group A, with only one game remaining in Manchester, against City. 

The game in Manchester could be do or die for City, depending on the outcome for the English side in Napoli.

Look for Bayern to push for an early goal.  Jupp Heynckes will expect a better game flow than they demonstrated against Dortmund.  Despite the odds being stacked for Munich, always remember the wise words of Sepp Herberger, the first postwar coach of the German National side, "The ball is round and a game lasts 90 minutes."  

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