Bayern Munich are looking to continue their impressive run of form when they visit Moscow to face Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Bayern Munich picked up an early headstart when they defeated Atletico Madrid 4-0 in their opening game of this edition of UEFA Champions League. Now, they are looking to continue their momentum and further solidify their position as the league leaders when they face Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday.
The Bavarians, buoyed by a 4-1 defeat to Hoffenheim earlier in the campaign, have responded extremely well and are in red hot form at the moment, having beaten Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 in their recent Bundesliga encounter. Although they are still trailing league leaders RB Leipzig, who play Manchester United this week, by one point, a win on Wednesday could be a go way in further boosting their confidence.
Speaking of Leipzig, their sister club RB Salzburg played out a 2-2 draw in Lokomotiv’s opening group game. It was a surprising result to say the least as the Austrian outfit were widely expected to get the better of their Russian counterparts in this particular group. They even attempted 15 shots on goal, compared to Lokomotiv’s five.
Nevertheless, Lokomotiv will be extremely happy with the point and the Russian outfit, who finished second in the Premier Liga last season, will looking to salvage another by causing a major upset in this one. And here, at the Hard Tackle, we will take a look at both these clubs ahead of their important match-up at the RZD Arena this midweek.
Tactics & Team News
Grzegorz Krychowiak, who is Robert Lewandowski’s teammate in the Polish national team, was sent off in the league game against Rotor. He is, however, eligible to feature in this midweek European fixture and the experienced midfielder should play a key role alongside Daniil Kulikov at the base of Lokomotiv’s 4-4-2.
— FC Lokomotiv Moscow (@fclokomotiv_eng) October 26, 2020
Marko Nikolic’s side primarily fares in that said formation, with two banks of four covering the goalkeeper Guilherme Marinato. But, the back four, consisting of Dmitri Zhivoglyadov, Vedran Corluka, Murilo Cerqueira and Maciej Rybus will have to be extra sharp in dealing with the threat of the mighty Bayern Munich attack.
Corluka, in particular, used to play in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, and his experience at the highest level of football could come in handy as Lokomotiv look to keep Bayern at bay this midweek.
Meanwhile, in the attack, the hosts are likely to rely on the wide-offensive duo of Rifat Zhemaletdinov and Aleksei Miranchuk, though both of them are expected to operate in a narrow formation, providing additional support to Krychowiak and Kulikov in the second line of press.
The Lokomotiv attack should be spearheaded by the two experienced strikers in Fedor Smolov and Eder. Both these are two are quite familiar with the highest brand of football and will be looking pounce at the Bayern defence on every opportunity they get.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Guilherme; Zhivoglyadov, Corluka, Murilo, Rybus; Zhemaletdinov, Kulikov, Krychowiak, Miranchuk; Smolov, Eder.
Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick is expected to ring in the changes as he continues to deal with a congested fixture schedule or the dreifachbelastung, as it’s called in Germany.
On the bright side of things, however, the German is set to have Serge Gnabry back after it was confirmed that his Covid-19 was a false position. He is set to travel with the squad to Moscow, though he may not necessarily get a starting berth in the team.
Even Kingsley Coman could be rested, in favour of new signing Douglas Costa, with Thomas Muller also shifting to a right-wing role in order to help Corentin Tolisso accommodate himself in the number ten role. The Frenchman has been in excellent form, of late, notably scoring a magnificent goal in the 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid last week.
Robert Lewandowski is most likely to retain his place in the starting lineup, ahead of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, although the latter is almost guaranteed to feature as a second-half substitute.
There could be changes in midfield as well, with Marc Roca replacing Leon Goretzka. It will be interesting to see how the Spaniard fares alongside Joshua Kimmich in the double-pivot this week.
In defence, the likes of Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard and Niklas Sule are all set to return to the side, though Alexander Nubel may once again have to settle for a place on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1: Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Hernandez; Kimmich, Roca; Muller, Tolisso, Costa; Lewandowski.
- Kingsley Coman – scorer of the winning goal against Paris Saint-Germain in the final in August – is already this season’s top scorer in Europe with two to his name.
- Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in the Champions League in 2019/20 with 15 goals. He scored 55 in all competitions for Bayern.
- Bayern’s treble triumph in the summer saw them crowned European champions for the sixth time. Only Real Madrid (13 times) and AC Milan (seven) have won this competition more often.
- Flick’s side romped to the Champions League last term, winning all 11 games to the tune of 53 goals scored and just eight conceded.
- Bayern and Lokomotiv met twice in the first round of the UEFA Cup in September 1995; the record German champions beating the Moscow side 5-1 on aggregate on the way to lifting that year’s trophy.
Player to Watch
Lewandowski has had his fair share of issues regarding fitness and dealing with such a congested fixture list. But, that hasn’t deterred the Pole from maintaining his marvellous scoring record, with the striker notably scoring a hat-trick in the recent win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.
And last season’s top scorer in the Champions League, Lewandowski will once again be at the centre of attention when Bayern Munich face Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday. The experienced forward has already improved his overall chance creation and build-up play so it will be an excellent opportunity for him to showcase those qualities in a game where his side are most likely to dominate.
As far as the hosts are concerned, preventing Lewandowski from finding space this week could go a long way in shaping their fate in this game.
Bayern Munich 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
If we consider the form Bayern Munich are in at the moment, it is hard to imagine the Bundesliga giants dropping any points from this fixture. As a matter of fact, their fans could be in for yet another treat as Hansi Flick’s continue to dominate Europe.