Bayern Munich vs Manchester United Competition:UEFA Champions League Venue:Allianz Arena, Munich
After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, FC Bayern take on English champions Manchester United at the Allianz Arena, knowing well enough that keeping a clean sheet would guarantee progress to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
FC Bayern will be missing the services of the suspended duo Martinez and Schweinsteiger, as well as the injured Starke, Raeder, Badstuber, Contento, Thiago, Shaqiri and Green.
Furthermore, Mandzukic will need to be careful as he will miss the next match should he collect a yellow card.
[2014-04-01] Manchester United 1 - 1 Bayern Munich (Champions League quarterfinal, 1st leg)
[2010-04-07] Manchester United 3 - 2 Bayern Munich (Champions League quarterfinal, 2nd leg)
[2010-03-30] Bayern Munich 2 - 1 Manchester United (Champions League quarterfinal, 1st leg)
[2009-07-30] Bayern Munich 0 - 0 (7 - 6 pens.) Manchester United (Audi Cup final)
[2004-07-25] Bayern Munich 0 - 0 (4 - 2 pens.) Manchester United (Friendly) (neutral stadium)
[2002-03-13] Manchester United 0 - 0 Bayern Munich (Champions League group stage)
[2001-11-20] Bayern Munich 1 - 1 Manchester United (Champions League group stage)
[2001-04-18] Bayern Munich 2 - 1 Manchester United (Champions League quarterfinal, 2nd leg)
[2001-04-03] Manchester United 0 - 1 Bayern Munich (Champions League quarterfinal, 2nd leg)
[1999-05-26] Manchester United 2 - 1 Bayern Munich (Champions League final)
[1998-12-09] Manchester United 1 - 1 Bayern Munich (Champions League group stage)
[1998-09-30] Bayern Munich 2 - 2 Manchester United (Champions League group stage)
That's what I want. With shaqiri as the impact sub coming on for kroos, Müller, robben, or mandzukic (whoever is being most invisible). Gotze should stay on the bench until 70+ and only if we need a change badly
Okay, time to shield myself from a couple of rants
I am going to say it. Pep's decision of not starting Mandzukic last time wasn't that much of a "crazy" thing to do. Muller has always done the unexpected for us, especially in the CL, and Pep perfectly knew that United would park the bus so he wanted to have an uncharacteristic creative alternative inside the box. It didn't work out so well because Muller was not in top form, but if he managed to put it the tap-in with his knee (that's Muller )in the beginning of the game, things would have gone way too differently. We played Mandzukic several times before against teams that park the bus, and on many of those times he didn't have any impact whatsoever. As a matter of fact, he always was the one saving our asses against those teams when coming off the bench, not when starting.
Back to this game, I think United will adopt a very similar approach and pray for a corner/set piece on which they have a good chance to score. If they didn't manage a goal by the hour mark, they will start going forward. Their game plan of cutting the ball and lobing it upfront to Welbeck or whoever was there will not be as effective this time. Pep will make sure that we starve them of the ball as much as possible, but would also be conservative with his high defensive line and the fullbacks forays. However, since United will also be defending a lot, it would be a good idea to start Muller. This time the difference would be Muller having more space to operate as an actual "false 9" and space is Muller's specialty. With space, Muller can be invisible for the watching and yet confuse/draw their big bulky CBs out of their positions. If it doesn't work out well, there's always Mandzukic who can come in, give their CBs something different to deal with, and save our asses again.
On the Sky Italia post matches program yesterday , when asked by the host who is likely to win after watching all the teams in action, Vialli still picked Bayern as the favourite due to the mentality, depth of squad and coach. Paolo Rossi agreed with him but with some questions about the aggressivness of the team after having already wrapped up the BL title and the last guest mentioned that he can see Bayern reach the finals but if they meet Barca or Real anything can happen.
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