Thursday, October 22, 2020

Prediction: Bayern Munich vs Hertha Berlin

Verdict: Robert Lewandowski to score two or more goals

Best odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin will take each other on in the third round of the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Bayern Munich

The 2019/20 season seems like it was stuff of beautiful dreams for the Bavarians. Having struggled early on, they rose up and stood firm to hold off the challenges of all rivals to win the Bundesliga title again, followed by the DFB-Pokal and topped off with their sixth Champions League trophy.

They’ve added winger Leroy Sane to their ranks since then, but they lost the services of midfield maestro Thiago Alcantara who now plays for Liverpool. They also signed 18-year-old defender Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi from Paris Saint-Germain, and goalkeeper Alexander Nubel from Schalke 04 who follows in the footsteps of Manuel Neuer after nine years. Bayern are also being linked with a late move for Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.

However, the German and European champions didn’t get off to a great start. It started well enough as they utterly destroyed Nubel’s and Neuer’s former club in the opening round by 8-0, but then they found themselves disappointingly but comprehensively beaten away to Hoffenheim, 4-1.

This season, Bayern will be playing in Champions League Group A, against Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Team News

Coach Hansi Flick won’t be able to call upon Sane or Kouassi for this game due to injuries. Midfielder Leon Goretzka missed the Super Cup win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday with a back problem and remains a doubt.

Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman are likely to support striker Robert Lewandowski upfront, together with Thomas Muller, while Corentin Tolisso could start in the place of Goretzka if need be.

Hertha Berlin

Hertha probably won’t have been too unhappy with the way they finished the 2019/20 season either – in 10th place, right in the middle of the table, with their top-fight survival never really in doubt. They will probably want to improve on that this time around, though.

To that end they’ve brought in striker Jhon Cordoba from FC Koln, goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow from SC Freiburg and fullback Deyovaisio Zeefuik from FC Groningen this summer. On the other hand, striker Vedad Ibisevic, attacking midfielder Ondrej Duda and veteran winger Salomon Kalou have all left the club.

Bruno Labbadia’s team walked away triumphant from their opening-day match away to Werder Bremen (1-4), but they were quickly brought back down to earth by Eintracht Frankfurt who beat them at the Olimpiastadion in the capital by 1-3. Therefore, Hertha have the same points tally as Bayern at the moment – three, but that isn’t really saying much at this stage of the season.

Team News

Winger Javairo Dilrosun and midfielder Arne Maier are unavailable for the Munich trip through injury, but captain Dedryck Boyata should be there to lead the defence despite a recent Achilles problem. Fellow defender Jordan Torunarigha and Santiago Ascacibar are doubts due to foot injuries.

Conclusion

It’s always a great challenge for any Bundesliga team to play against Bayern at the Allianz Arena, something their players see as an opportunity to prove themselves against world-class opposition, but it’s certainly not the place to go to hope for points too much.

The Bavarians may have paid the complacency price at Hoffenheim, but their not very likely to make the same mistake again. They will be hungry, desiring to prove that the shock defeat in the previous round was nothing more than a one-time fluke. On the back of winning the UEFA award as the best attacking player in the Champions League last season, Lewandowski will probably be very motivated.

Verdict: Robert Lewandowski to score two or more goals

Best odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on four different football blogs.

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