Bayern Munich will hope to recover from their collapse against Borussia Dortmund when they take on Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night.
German champions Bayern Munich could put one foot in the Last 16 should they win against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday night. Die Roten have a 100 per cent win rate from their opening three games and will be keen to keep that run going.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side dismantled Viktoria Plzen last week, winning 5-0 on the night. Having let a two-goal slip at the weekend against Borussia Dortmund, Bayern will be keen to get their season back on track. Given the difference in quality on paper, the Germans should have little trouble coming away with a win.
The Czech giants have never kept a clean sheet in the competition at home. And they are also up against a juggernaut who have won their last ten games in the group stages. Another victory on Tuesday will see Bayern set a new record for consecutive group stage wins in the competition’s history.
A win will more or less also guarantee Bayern’s qualification for the :ast 16. Anything less than a win for Barcelona against Inter Milan will see Die Roten qualify. Should the Blaugrana prevail, Nagelsmann’s men will need just one point from their last two group stage clashes to achieve the same.
It is fair to say that the odds are stacked against Viktoria Plzen on the night. Anything less than a thumping win will be nothing short of a miracle. The Hard Tackle looks at how the teams will line up on the night and what tactics they might employ.
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Pomalu se to blíží! 🤩 Už ve středu dorazí do Doosan Areny slavný Bayern a vy můžete být u toho, volný prodej vstupenek pokračuje 🙌
— FC Viktoria Plzeň (@fcviktorkaplzen) October 10, 2022
The Czech side will once again be without Pavel Bucha who is suspended for the game following his sending-off against Inter Milan. Apart from Petr Pejsa, who is injured, Michal Bilek has an otherwise full-strength squad to choose from.
Viktoria Plzen were unable to go toe to toe against Bayern in a 4-2-3-1 formation at the Allianz Arena, crumbling to a 5-0 thrashing. While the Czech giants showed fight, the difference in quality more or less is too big to bridge.
They are likely to keep the same formation on Tuesday with a much more defensive outlook. A lot will depend on just how well the home side can keep the scores level, giving them a better chance of frustrating their illustrious visitors.
Jindrich Stanek will start in goal behind a back four of Milan Havel, Lukas Hejda, Ludek Pernica and Vaclav Jemelka. Lukas Kalvach will form the double pivot in midfield alongside Modou N’Diaye, who will step in for the suspended Bucha.
The trio of Jan Kopic, Adam Vlkanova and Jhon Mosquera will be tasked with crafting attacking openings for Tomas Chory, who should start up front.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Stanek; Havel, Hejda, Pernica, Jemelka; Kalvach, N’Diaye; Kopic, Vlkanova, Mosquera; Chory
Julian Nagelsmann saw his side blow a two-goal lead to Borussia Dortmund at the weekend and will be keen to make amends for it against Viktoria Plzen. Winning the game should make it easier for him to rest players for the remaining two games, meaning they can be kept fresh to rekindle a flagging Bundesliga title defence.
He will, however, have decisions to make with several players on the sidelines. Bouna Sarr and Lucas Hernandez continue to recover from injuries and will miss out on the visit to the Czech Republic. Alphonso Davies bruised his skull against Dortmund and will join them on the sidelines. Serge Gnabry is another player who is recovering from a knock and has been left out.
German sensation Jamal Musiala has tested positive for coronavirus and is also set to miss out. The youngster has been Die Roten’s beating pulse in attack and will be missed. Matthijs de Ligt was also injured in the game against Dortmund and does not appear to have recovered in time. But it is not all bad news as Kingsley Coman is included in the travelling squad.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 11, 2022
The Bayern boss is likely to keep faith in his 4-2-3-1 formation. With Manuel Neuer absent, Sven Ulreich should start in goal behind a back four of Josip Stanisic, Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard and Noussair Mazraoui. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka will form the double pivot, with Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane starting ahead of them.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting should lead the line in the much-changed Bayern lineup. Despite the changes in the playing XI, the Germans go into the game as the superior side.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Ulreich; Mazrouai, Pavard, Upamecano, Stanisic; Goretzka, Kimmich; Sane, Muller, Mane; Choupo-Moting
- Viktoria Plzen have lost all five of their previous meetings against Bayern Munich. Three of these have come in the UEFA Champions League. Bayern Munich have only faced Olympiakos in European football while holding a 100 percent win rate. Another win on Tuesday will see Viktoria Plzen draw level with the Greek giants at the top of the unfortunate list.
- Bayern Munich are among five teams who have a 100 per cent win rate in the UEFA Champions League group stages going into matchday four.
- Bayern Munich and Club Brugge are the only two sides in the competition to yet concede a goal. On the other hand, Viktoria Plzen have let in 12 goals in their first three games, the most of any side in the competition. In fact, it is the worst defensive record of any side after matchday three since 2016/17.
- Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 31 group-stage games in the UEFA Champions League. This is the longest such streak by any side in the competition. A win on Tuesday will see Bayern improve upon their 10-game group stage winning streak, a new record.
- Viktoria Plzen are yet to keep a single clean sheet in their previous 10 UEFA Champions League home games.
Player to Watch
The German international has scored in all three UEFA Champions League games so far and is in top form going into the clash. With several players missing, the onus will be on him to shine once again and make a difference.
Sane has started the last two games brightly, scoring early goals for Bayern Munich. Doing so again will pave the way for Bayern to secure all three points on the night. A win is the need of the hour following their late collapse against Dortmund at the weekend.
Viktoria Plzen 0-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich still have enough in their locker to put a poor Plzen side to the sword. A lot will depend on how the Germans start the game and break the deadlock. Bayern have thrived on confidence this season, and an early goal will make life easier for Julian Nagelsmann and co. While they may not match the scoreline from last week, it should still be an easy 3-0 win for Die Roten.