Our European football scribe gives his verdict for Wednesday night's Champions League clash between Bayern and PSV.
Phillipe Cocu’s PSV face the daunting challenge of attempting to dismantle a twelve game winning streak for the Bavarian giants at home. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have had their own little crisis of identity recently. They struggled to edge past Hamburg whilst losing to fellow giants Atletico in their last Champions League outing. They also had frustrating draws with both Eintracht Frankfurt and Koln. So this is hardly a Bayern at their supreme best. Cocu will be using that to hopefully galvanize his troops. They could, however, be on the receiving end when sleeping giants wake.
Bayern Munich v PSV Eindhoven | Wednesday 18 October | Allianz Arena | 21:00
To Win (90 Mins)
Bayern 2/9 | Draw 11/2 | PSV 19/2
Ancelotti’s side have won their last twelve games at home in the Champions League, scoring 47 goals and conceding just 7. That is fairly imperious stuff. Robert Lewandowski is in serious form while Thomas Muller has dovetailed brilliantly with the Polish striker. Franck Ribery has taken some time to rediscover the type of form that saw him mentioned in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo at one point. Robben remains unavailable due to a muscular injury sustained in the first week while Joshua Kimmich may just miss out on selection this week.
One just has to look at their back five to appreciate the quality and depth of experience that this side has. Boateng was, in my opinion, the best defender at Euros while Hummels has effortlessly been assimilated into the fabric of this great club. Alaba and Lahm will be urged to get forward as much as possible while Ancelotti is likely to opt for Alcantara and Vidal in the midfield. Alonso is a staple as he possesses the discipline to hold his position in similar fashion to Sergio Busquets at Barcelona.
Dutch goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet will likely be in for a heavy duty night this Wednesday. And in the same breath captain Luuk de Jong will likely end up suffering from cabin fever by the time the night is out. Luciano Narsingh may drop into the midfield and essentially form a midfield block of five to try to contain the immense Bayern threat.
Vice-captain and Mexican stalwart Guardado is a decent outside bet for a red card. The combative midfielder may find himself hard pressed to legally contain the dynamic and fluid interchangeability that Bayern offers.
Newcastle United midfielder Siem de Jong is on loan at the club but will likely miss out on a starting berth. He may ultimately count himself lucky on that omission. I just can’t see how the likes of Guardado and Propper are going to contain this Bayern beast. They will be particularly exposed by Lahm and Alaba in the wide positions, as they solider forward in typical fashion, letting Xabi Alonso sit in to protect the back. Will Moreno and co have the pace to deal with these overlapping wingbacks? I doubt it.
Verdict: Total Goals over 3.5 at 8/10
I honestly think that Bayern are going to look to silence critics and put on a show for their expectant fans. I expect Bayern to romp to a four-nil or five-nil victory. I just remember the way they dismantled Roma 7-0 a few years ago when most pundits gave the Italian side a chance of an upset. Bayern have the ability that top clubs have to be cruel at times, and PSV may be on the receiving end of such cruelty this week.
Written by Damien Kayat @Hollywoodbets