Champion’s League Semi Final.
Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon Portugal, at 20:00 BTS
Score Prediction: 1-3 to Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich looked a class apart in their last match against Barcelona. It was a performance that football fans will remember for some time and one which Barca fans will grimace remembering. However, the campaign is not over for the Bavarians and as it is always the case, it will be difficult for the team to come back and compete with the same intensity with Lyon. But, Lyon can not really count on that because Bayern are always the favorites in the Bundesliga and when have they ever been complacent? Even in the match against Barcelona they seemed loath to relent, even after they had scored 6 goals. Muller hit the hammer on the head when in the post match interview he said that the next match will start “null-null” anyway and they would have to concentrate hard to win, for they had come into the competition to win it and not just sail through the quarters.
Will Bayern be able to maintain the same intensity?
If they want to get to the finals Bayern must be wary of their opposition from France. No doubt Bayern has been exceptional as a team and are the team to beat in Europe currently but they are not without their fair share of problems. Even in that exceptional game against Barcelona, their defense was split open quite a few times. Alaba who has been fantastic all season seemed a little shaky in the match and Boateng seemed out of depth against Suarez and ended up letting Suarez score in the second half. Hopefully it was only a small lapse on Alaba’s part and he will back to his best against Lyon because Bayern will be needing it. They will no doubt be playing a high line and gegen press the opposition, however, this high press which has been Bayern’s best ploy, can also turn into their Achilles heel against Lyon. Lyon will be looking to get behind the back four and given that they have fast, young players do it, Bayern defense will be tested. Boateng had been afraid to commit to pressing the likes of Odoi and Abraham in the match against Chelsea for fear of being left behind in recovery runs and his technique, where he twisted his body diagonally away from Suarez while trying to stop him was questionable to say the least. If Alaba messes up then with the full backs advancing high up the pitch, the defense will be left a little vulnerable.
Boateng has to hold his position well along with Alaba at the back and win the long balls which Lyon will definitely be sending in to get behind the defensive line. They will also have ample help from the mid-field, especially Goretzka. What a revelation that player has turned out to be. He is probably the engine of the Bayern attack. Not only does he play those beautiful passes as the one which got Gnabry his goal but he will also be covering any position in the field that needs covering! In the match against Chelsea, he was covering RB as Kimmich forayed forward and Bayern’s roadrunner, Davis is definitely more comfortable with Goretzka in the mid-field for he knows he’ll be there to cover for him too. He was exceptional against Barcelona where he had the tough job of containing Messi and he along with Thiago in the mid-field did an exceptional job.
Lyon will be sitting back in their half while defending and Muller would have a very important role to play, where the “raumdeuter” will be expected to create passing lanes through the middle and link up Lewandowski to score goals. Davis along with Gnabry will also try to move the ball up the flanks and the Lyon players must be wary of Bayern’s pace along the flanks.
While under Kovach, Lewy would have just hovered at the top of the Bayern attack waiting for balls to be fed to him, under Flick he has been playing an active part in the play making process. Often doping down the pitch or pressing the opposition keeper in search of a soft goal. Poor Ter Stegen had a hard time dealing with the Lewy press and ended up playing the ball more often to the Bayern players than his own team mates.
Will Lyon continue its dream run?
This has been a dream campaign for the team form France. After all it’s not everyday that you knock out Sarri’s Juventus and Pep’s City in the same campaign, so they have already done a great job this season. Even though they have finished only 8th in the French League, they have been absolutely top class in the Champion’s League. Rudy Garcia’s team not only has quality on the pitch but also off the pitch coming in from the bench. Depay, once floundering with ManU has found himself anew with the team and has been one of there best players on the pitch. Moussa Dembele came off the pitch and added to the attack scoring twice, while Cornet left the City defenders trying to chase him out of breath more than once. In this, they are a little similar to Flick’s Bayern. Not only do they have a young team which can keep up with Bayern’s pace but they are also willing to play a physical game, something shown against City.
They will attack Bayern on the counter and the Bayern defense will have to be prepared to face that. Against City, Lyon did not have a lot of possession but they broke beautifully on the counter and scored on all the three chances they had and they will have a similar formula to succeed against Bayern as well. However, they have problems of their own which Bayern would have to exploit. Lyon play with three at the back and as a result they leave spaces in between and struggle to hold the ball under pressure. And be sure that Bayern will hit them with waves after waves of pressing pressure. Bayern’s wingers and Muller will have the task of exploiting these half spaces. Lyon’s three mid-fielders will work closely in the center to close down Bayern’s vertical passing lanes , however, against Bayern it’s not going to be that easy given the quality they have in the middle.
Bayern Munich: Pavard is back, however, I do not think that he will be pushed in by Flick to play the full 90mins nor will be Sule. Perisic, with the way he has played in the Champion’s League thus far, keeps his place in the starting XI and Coman will be subbed in only after half time.
Davis Alaba Boateng Kimmich
Ganabry Muller Perisic
Dubois Caqueret Guimaraes Aouar Cornet
Denayer Marcelo Marcal
Cover The Spread Betting Trends:
Lyon Champions League form: WLDWLW
Lyon’s form (all competitions): WLLLLW
Bayern Munich’s Champions League form: WWWWWW
Bayern Munich’s form (all competitions): WWWWWW
Incredibly, Lyon have not won consecutive Champions League matches in a single campaign since the 2011-12 season when defeating Dinamo Zagreb and APOEL.
Free Champion’s League Football Pick Lyon vs Bayern Munich.
Lyon are being called the “Giant Killers” not for nothing and they deserve every bit of the praise coming their way. But this particular “Giant” might just prove a bit too much for them to tame. Bayern have talent all over the pitch and any of their players can score a goal on the day, a fact that was exhibited best when their RB (Kimmich) scored off a pass from their LB (Davis) against Barca. This will not be as high scoring a game as the one against Barca because Lyon will sit deep and defend strong and Bayern will have a majority of the possession. But Lyon have a spirited attack and they will come into the match with nothing to lose and that might bolster them up. In the end, nothing can be said with certainty in football. I could have sworn that City would cruise past Lyon but that didn’t happen and it just might be that Bayern get too cocky and lose the tie. But that’s it, it is Bayern Munich’s game to lose.