Bayern Munich vs FC Porto | Tuesday 21 April | Allianz Arena | 20:45
A 3-1 loss to Porto in the first leg at Estadio do Dragao has left Bayern Munich’s treble dreams in jeopardy. The German giants will now be forced to overturn a two-goal deficit under pressure at their fortress, the Allianz Arena. Ravaged by injury, Bayern were pressed into a host of mistakes in the reverse fixture in Portugal and were punished for them severely. Touted as one of top clubs in world football, nothing less than a celebration of that status will be required to see them through to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
To Win (90mins)
FC Porto 7/1
To Qualify for Semi Final
Bayern Munich 1/1
FC Porto 8/10
The Bavarian megalith that is Bayern Munich have to find two goals to have any hope of reaching their fourth consecutive Champions League semi-final. However, they cannot afford to throw caution to the wind as Porto have the potential to devastate on the counterattack and should Munich concede, it will likely spell disaster for the club. Captain Philipp Lahm has been cleared to play after a stomach bug ruled him out of Bayern’s Bundesliga clash at the weekend. His ability to keep a cool head under pressure and read the game situation will likely prove invaluable for a Munich side who have picked up a habit of glaring defensive errors in recent times. Bastian Schweinsteiger could also feature as Munich slowly piece together the remnants of their injury crisis. They are by no means out of the woods yet however, with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Medhi Benatia and Javi Martinez still missing. In a strange turn of events, Bayern’s team doctor has resigned after a period with the club dating back to 1977. It seems to stem from an ongoing feud with Pep Guardiola and an apparent blaming of the medical team for their loss against Porto in first leg.
Porto put a significant dent in Bayern Munich’s treble ambitions by capitalising on a host of errors to upset the German giants in the first leg. Porto’s relentless pressing strategy bore fruit as they forced Xabi Alonso, Dante and Jerome Boateng into mistakes that all led to goals. A brace for Ricardo Quaresma was rounded out by a goal for Jackson Martinez as Porto remained unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, dispelling past rumours of their inefficiency on the road. They’re a dangerous side with pace in abundance and will hope to use it to good effect by catching Bayern Munich on the counterattack. However, they will be missing wing-backs Alex Sandro and Danilo through suspension which may curtail their ability to break at speed. Porto will look to draw on the history of Bayern Munich having never overturned a two-goal deficit to progress in European competition.
VERDICT: Bayern Munich - To Qualify for Semi Final 1/1
I’m fairly sure that Bayern Munich will win this match but I’m not convinced of a demolition. A 2-0 win would send Bayern straight through on the basis on away goals but should Porto hit the back of the net, this fixture could well see extra time. If it does, Bayern will prevail. Even money is a great price for the Bavarian giants to pull themselves out of the hole and I suggest you get on before it shortens.