Champions League Matchup: Bayern Munich vs. Juventus
Bayern Munich will face off against a familiar foe, Juventus, in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Juve had their group all but locked up heading into the final day, but had an unfortunate and surprising loss to Sevilla. Their punishment for the loss is a matchup against one of the best teams in Europe this season.
The only team that can truly rival Bayern Munich as the most frightening team in European football this season is Barcelona. Bayern will certainly look to perform better this time around than they did last year, falling short against the Catalans in the semifinals.
Here is a breakdown of what to expect from each team as they prepare to face off:
Critics of Bayern Munich would lead you to believe that the team lacks the raw pace and power of the team that lifted the Champions League trophy three years ago. However, what they lack in sheer force, they make up for with extraordinary command of the ball. There are few things in the game of soccer more predictable than a Bayern Munich goal. If Bayern does not make a deep run in this tournament then it would come as a big surprise to all those following the tournament.
The key to a deep run for Bayern Munich will be the play of Thiago Alcântara. He is one of the best midfielders in the sport right now and has established himself as a crucial first-teamer for Bayern. Although he is not the flashiest or recognized players on the team (i.e. Robert Lewandowski, Douglas Costa, and Thomas Müller) but Alcântara is tasked with maintaining a cohesive unit.
The defending Italian champions had a rough go of things in Serie A, but they are finally getting things turned around after a solid run in the Champions League. They have beat Manchester City twice and now sit at fourth in Italy’s top division. They look poised to reclaim the form that saw them win Serie A four straight years.
Last year they surprised everyone and made it all the way to the Champions League final before falling short to Barcelona. No one has underestimated the team this year and we should expect no different from Bayern Munich. Juventus is extremely talented and is capable of beating anyone.
While Juventus is a great team, they are still learning who they are as a team following the losses of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez. This game will be competitive, but in the end, Bayern Munich should be able to control the match and win by multiple goals.