Verdict: Bayern Munich
Best Odds: 7/11
In-form Bayern Munich continue their Champions League title push in Spain where they will face European specialists Sevilla in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Los Rojiblancos have been experiencing all sorts of problems this season, but their erratic run of form should not fool anyone into thinking that Vincenzo Montella’s side will be a small fish to fry in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Sevilla boast an impressive European record in their most recent history, having won the Europa League titles for three successive seasons up until 2016. The La Liga side might be sitting in sixth place domestically but their champions pedigree will make them a respectable opposition for one of Europe’s biggest club Bayern Munich. Montella’s men have gone through plenty of ups and downs this season and the inability to claim consistency in their results is best evident through the fact they almost beat Barcelona this weekend despite losing to Leganes just prior to the international break. Sevilla will be hoping their in-form star Wissam Ben Yedder – the club’s double scoring hero at Old Trafford in the previous round – will be able to extend his run of form. The 27-year-old French forward was an unused substitute in a 2-2 draw against Barcelona this weekend but is expected to be unleashed versus Bayern Munich. Former Toulouse striker has thus far scored eight Champions League goals and only trails Cristiano Ronaldo in the competition this season.
Sebastian Corchia is struggling with a groin injury. The same issue is troubling Jose Mena who is also unavailable for the forthcoming game.
Wissam Ben Yedder is said to be reinstated in the starting line-up whereas Montella will be without suspended Ever Banega.
The Bavarian behemoths could not have hoped for the better introduction to their highly anticipated Sevilla clash. Bundesliga leaders have steamrolled over their biggest league rivals Borussia Dortmund this weekend and the 6-0 drubbing will definitely be a huge morale boost for Jupp Heynckes’ charges.
Bayern Munich are now only a couple of points away from extending their record six Bundesliga titles on the trot and will lack no motivation as they travel to Spain, where they will be aiming to exert their power at the international level as well. The weekend’s goal glut against Dortmund was the continuation of their free-scoring run which saw Bayern run over Besiktas 8-1 on aggregate in the previous round of the Champions League. Bayern Munich might be running wild but they will know much better than to underestimate their Spanish rivals. The Bavarians exited Europe’s elite competition at the hands of Spanish competition in each of their past four seasons and will definitely not take their Sevilla trip for granted. Heynckes will be without a couple of notable players and that’s just another reason to be extra careful heading to Andalusia.
First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has resumed light training but is still far away from getting back in the team.
The Bavarians will also be without Kingsley Coman and Juan Bernat who are suffering from an ankle problem and a joint capsule tear, respectively.
Key Factors to Consider
- Bayern Munich are playing the record 17th Champions League quarterfinal
- Bavarians scored 15 goals in their last seven matches in all competitions
- Sevilla won only 1 of their last five home matches
- Bayern won nine of their last 10 away games this season
- Wissam Ben Yedder is the 2nd-best Champions League goalscorer with 8 on his tally already
Bayern Munich are in a sensational run of form in the competition and will be looking to build upon their 8-1 win over Besiktas in the previous stage. The 6-0 beating of Dortmund is working well in their favour knowing that Sevilla have experienced some struggles over the course of this season. Los Rojiblancos are still a force to be reckoned with in Europe but Bayern should have enough about them for a win in Spain.
Verdict: Bayern Munich
Best Odds: 7/11
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