Bayern Munich have a comfortable lead in the Bundesliga, and they shouldn’t have problems to secure the league title. However, their main goal for this season is winning the UEFA Champions League. And with European glory in mind, Die Roten will take on Real Madrid in the tournament’s quarterfinals. The first leg will be played this Wednesday at Allianz Arena, Bayern’s home venue.
Ancelotti will have to tweak his tactics a bit ahead of this game. Mats Hummels will be out for a few weeks due to an ankle injury, so Javi Martinez could see time at centre back. To make things a bit more tricky, Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller will be game-time decisions. However, the first two might start even if they are not 100% fit.
The rest of the squad is available, so Ancelotti will feature several talented players on the bench.
The Soccer News team has prepared a predicted line-up and formation Bayern are expected to field this Wednesday.
As mentioned above, Neuer seems likely to return in this game after missing a few games with an injury. However, Sven Ulreich will be ready in case Neuer suffers a last-minute setback. But barring any issues, the German international will start for this pivotal match.
The four-man defence should not feature many changes in comparison to recent games. Martinez will take Hummels’ slot, but the rest should remain unchanged. Philipp Lahm and David Alaba will handle the flanks, while Jerome Boateng will slot at centre back alongside Martinez.
The midfield zone is arguably Bayern’s strongest part of the pitch, and that is saying something considering the level of talent in the entire squad. Due to this, Ancelotti will have his best players for this game against his former side. The duo at central midfield will be no other than Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal. The Spaniard offers quality on his touches and long passing, while Vidal will be in charge of disrupting the opposing playmakers such as Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.
In front of them, Bayern will employ their usual three-men attacking line slotted behind the striker. Arjen Robben will play on the right, Franck Ribery will handle the left and Thiago Alcantara will slot between them. All three players offer different characteristics, though. Robben offers pace on the wing and deadly inside runs, Ribery has creativity, and Thiago can link up midfielders and attackers with ease.
The lone striker role has always been Lewandowski’s to lose, but it’s not clear whether the Polish forward will be able to start due to an ankle problem. To make things a bit more complicated, the second-best option for that role – Müller – is dealing with an injury of his own, too. Both players will undergo a late-fitness test, but Lewandowski should start even if he is not 100% fit.
There is a big reason why Bayern will wait Lewandowski until the last minute. The Poland international is one of the top scorers in the Champions League this season with seven goals in eight appearances. He will play a big role for Bayern in this game, and Ancelotti knows he is key if the German giants want to leave Real Madrid behind.
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