Chelsea take on Bayern Munich in their Round of 16 tie for the Champions League with the first leg being held at Stamford Bridge. The two teams have a shared Champions League history and the last time Chelsea played Bayern in the Champions League was a certain final in Munich in 2012 which Chelsea ended up winning the Champions League. For Chelsea this game comes at similar times where we are perhaps not at our best while Bayern are playing well once again.
Bayern have won 9 games, drawn 1, and lost 1 since MD 6 as the German champions are turning up for the 2nd half of the season as usual. Bayern were 5th heading into the first game after MD 6 and now find themselves 1 point above Leipzig at the top of the table. Bayern are currently under the management of interrim manager Flick after Kovac was sacked early on in the season. Bayern’s shining light has been Lewandowski as he has scored 38 goals in 32 appearances this season which compared to our attacking stats is in another planet. Gnabry is also one to keep an eye on as he has 15 in 29 games with 4 of those goals coming in Bayern’s 2-7 thrashing of Tottenham in the group stage. Of course Bayern have Neuer still around while Alaba is a big threat, Coutinho, Muller, Coman, Alcantara are all players that Chelsea need to keep an eye on.
Chelsea on the other hand have won 6, drawn 3, and lost 4 which is a mixed bag of results compared to Bayern. For Chelsea though the duration of those results has seen us stay 4th in the table even with relative poor form, at the moment we find ourselves 3 points clear of 5th with United right behind us. The game against Spurs was a big test for Lampard and co but we got through it with a brilliant performance and the players will now have to bring the levels up once again to get through into the quarters. The key for Chelsea in my opinion is to keep a clean sheet at home which has been nearly impossible this season because we always find a way to mess up. We have only managed to keep 5 clean sheets at home in all comps this season which is a laughable record as we struggle to remain solid at the back. It’s not like we are open though it’s just that when we do make a mistake it usually leads to a goal and in that sense an element of luck has also been missing. Chelsea have proved their capability in against the odds situations this season and Bayern is probably at the top of that pile.
Chelsea Team Preview
Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, and Kante remain the absentees from the squad as they recover from various injuries but everyone else is fit. For this game I would start Kepa in goal although I believe Lampard will stick with Rudiger. I would stick with a 3 at the back and so Azpilicueta and Christensen would remain 2 of my 3 centre backs but I would bring in Tomori or Zouma to handle the pace of the Bayern players. My preference is Zouma. Reece and Alonso would remain my wing backs with Alonso the best option in this system. Jorginho and Kovacic would remain the midfielders while Mount, and Willian will probably start with Giroud up top. Tammy might be back but I would stick with Giroud and ease Tammy back in to the lineup. RLC is also available an in my dream scenario I would hope that Lampard started him instead of Willian but that probably won’t happen. Barkley had a good game at the weekend but I think he will be dropped to the bench. Considering our main objective needs to be a clean sheet I think the 3-4-3 is our best bet, all we need is to make sure that we don’t make any silly mistakes and take our chances in front of the Bayern goal.
Bayern Munich Team Preview
Bayern are pretty fluid in their formations and they played with 3 at the back against Paderborn during the weekend although they were left open and conceded two against the bottom team. That is why I think Bayern will return to a back four with Neuer in goal, with Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, and Davies as the back four. Kimmich and Alcantara as the two CDM’s, while Muller, Goretzka, and Gnabry should support Lewandowski up front. That front four is a powerful adversary while the back 6 are also physical players. Bayern will concede chances though and Chelsea need to be clinical with that.
Starting XI Prediction
It is a big game and Chelsea are firmly the underdogs in this fixture. Lampard will know the level’s it takes to get the job done at this stage and he will want those same levels from these players. Chelsea thrive on being the underdogs and hopefully we can keep a clean and nick a goal or two as well to take to Munich. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!