Soccer Magazine

German Giants Bayern Munich Visit Villarreal in the Champions League

By Simplyfutb01 @simplyjuan11

Villarreal asked for the Champions League, and boy, did we get it!  Bayern München, Manchester City, Napoli.  Talk about a triumvirate.  Bayern are sitting in first place in the Bundesliga.  Man City are essentially tied with Manchester United, only a few goals off on goal differential.  Napoli are only one match into the season, but are tied for second in Serie A on goal differential with a 1-3 thrashing of Cesena.  Altogether, that is a hefty group to go up against.  And Villarreal has not exactly set the world on first so far this season, dropping a painful 5-0 match to Barcelona, but then holding on over the weekend for a 2-2 draw against Sevilla in El Madrigal.

Villarreal will be looking to continue their longstanding strong form in Champions League matches at El Madrigal.  Since the 2007-2008 UEFA Cup, Villarreal have managed 17 wins, 1 loss, and 6 draws in European competition in Vila-real.  Looking at just the more recent timeframe, Villarreal are 9-0-0 at home since the 2010-2011 Europa League.

Villarreal will need all of that Madrigal magic when the Bavarians show up to play tomorrow.  Bayern Munich have had some up and down seasons over the last couple of years, but this year is clearly starting on the upswing.  Two years ago, Bayern found itself up against Inter Milan in the Champions League Final, only to show poorly and lose the match 0-2.  Last year they lost that momentum from the previous season and finished a (relatively) disappointing third place, 10 points off the pace set by Borussia Dortmund.  Despite last year’s stumble, Bayern is playing top shelf football at the moment.  The Germans enter the fray with an impressive, if slightly odd, record in the Bundesliga.  They are 4W-0D-1L on the season, having scored 16 goals in their four victories, and giving up only a single goal all season – that being the season-opening shock loss to Borussia Monchengladbach in Munich, 0-1.  Admittedly their four victories on the season have come against teams currently sitting 13th, 14th, 17th, and 18th in the 18-team Bundesliga, but when you are cranking out scores of 0-1, 5-0, 0-3, and 7-0 back-to-back, that is impressive no matter who you are playing.

Bayern Munich restocked a bit over the summer, although the club did not make wholesale changes.  The side payed an amazing  £18m to Schalke for goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.  The club added to their back line with Jerome Boateng (CB) and Rafinha (RB).  They also brought in Nils Peterson, formerly of Energie Cottbus, who was the leading scorer in the Bundesliga 2 last year.  Also notable, Bayern changed managers, hiring Josef “Jupp” Heynckes, who last year led Bayer Leverkusen to a second place finish in the Bundesliga.

Bayern has a squad that would be the envy of almost any club in Europe.  Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez,Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller, Franck Ribéry, Jerome Boateng, Rafinha, Arjen Robben, Daniel van Buyten, and the names go on and on.  Unfortunately for the Bavarians, the club will tomorrow be without one of their star midfielders, Arjen Robben.  Robben is simply one of the best midfielders in the world, but is more than a little fragile.  He would be a devastating loss for any team, but thinking back to Robben’s days at Real Madrid and what he did to Villarreal, I can’t feel too badly for the German side.

Continue reading this post at Villarreal USA….


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