Bayern München has been reigning supreme in the Bundesliga and after another German title, they are preparing to come into the final stretch of the Champions League with full strength. A lot of people consider them favourites in this competition. Should they?
NOBODY PLAYS BETTER THAN BAYERN RIGHT NOW
The stoppage, due to the worldwide pandemic, ended up modifying the entire football scenario and defining new powerhouses for the time being.
Before the long break, everyone was still considering Liverpool as the best club in worldwide football, but they focused so much in the Premier League that they were eliminated from this continental competition early.
Now there aren’t a lot of teams left on the fight for this trophy, and from the remaining teams, none of them is playing better football than Bayern. They still need to ensure their qualification for the Champions League’s quarter finals, but that is a mere formality at this point.
The Germans have beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge by 3-0, putting on a true show, and they might even lose by 2 goals at the Allianz Arena.
The Englishmen could have had some hope, if Bayern were playing sloppy football again, but that wasn’t what happened.
Bayern doesn’t lose on an official match since December 7th in the Bundesliga. On their return, they’ve stringed together 11 consecutive and undeniable victories, that gave them a more relaxed German title than it was expected during the pandemic.
Besides the Bundesliga title, they’ve beaten Bayer Leverkusen by 4-2 on the final of the DFB Pokal, as if it was nothing. They aren’t a team that struggles to win, not having many problems during the 90 minutes.
They win the match in dominant fashion, with tactical variations, since they’re a very agile and extremely vertical team. The addition of Kimmich and Goretzka as defensive midfielders gave the team some mobility on the inside.
Gnabry and Coman on the wings offer the aggressiveness that the team needs and Lewandowski is fighting for an unprecedented award of best player in the world, after scoring a ton of goals this season.
Nobody plays better football than Bayern because they have been winning comfortably and not off lucky plays, as we see in the other leagues.
ARE BAYERN THE BIGGEST FAVOURITES IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?
Still on the 8th finals, but practically confirmed on the next stage. Bayern are the big favourites on this matchup and on the quarter finals they will be facing either Barcelona or Napoli.
Even the Spanish side having a Lionel Messi as a great weapon, their collective strength isn’t comparable to the collective quality of the German side. In first place, I can’t say confidently that the Catalans will get through the Italians, due to the level they’ve been presenting.
But none of these teams presents a football level even close to Bayern. Bayern is involving, defends very well and attacks with a lot of aggressiveness.
Neither Barcelona nor Napoli are able to be balanced, attacking and controlling the actions without the ball. Bayern has a super strong transition and they will be favourites against any of these two on the next stage. They are able to control the midfield, with players with good mobility and they are very quick on the sideward game.
The semi-final could setup a matchup against Guardiola’s City or Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus (with Real Madrid being the underdogs and Lyon trying to surprise Juve). Although they are teams with more quality, they are now a step below Bayern.
We can’t doubt a team that has Cristiano Ronaldo as a key player and we also can’t doubt of a collective game very well setup by Guardiola.
But none of them, over the course of their respective leagues and in their Champions League campaign were able to be as solid as Bayern.
From these clubs, the only one who puts the favouritism of the Germans at risk is really City. Since this is a single-leg tie, a team with world class players can do some damage, just like it happened at the Bernabéu.
Bayern demolished Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and they’ve also battered Chelsea in the Champions League. They are a team that tends to impose itself against those who feart them and they end up presenting collective flaws. Having a great player doesn’t make them favourites against the German side.
On the other side we have teams that can benefit from the fact this is a single-leg tie because of the circumstances around the world.
However, everyone on the other side of the draw have been unstable over the course of the season. PSG is the team with most individual weapons, but they aren’t able to be as collectively strong as Bayern.
With a single-leg tie, behind closed doors and far from home, the Champions League has now a tone of balance and unpredictability on this final stretch of the competition. But if I had to make a prediction, I would pick Bayern, without a doubt.