Following this weekend’s drubbing at the hands of Wolfsburg, Bayern come into the hardest tie of the quarter finals of the Champion’s League on a low. Can they overcome the humiliation at the VW to get a result at Camp Nou against arguably the best team in Europe? Yes, they can.
First, they need to shore up the defense which was picked apart by Misimovic, Dzeko and Grafite. First they need to revert to a 4-2-3-1. Padding their defense with a double-six would protect the weakest part of the team; however, Van Bommel and Ze Roberto are not strong enough to do that job, seeing as how they couldn’t handle Josue and Misimovic. I think Klinsmann would be better suited to slotting Ottl next to Van Bommel as the two players to sit in front of Breno and Dimichelis.
A three man attacking midfield would do a couple of things. First it would keep Podolksi off the pitch and would allow Sosa a chance to show his mettle on the biggest stage. He’s ready to break out and this could be the catalyst. Next, a four man attack of Toni and the three mids will allow the FB’s to sit back and defend, which is crucial for Lahm as he will be facing the twin attack of Messi and Alves. Finally, Ribery comes into this game knowing that he will be facing off to a worldwide audience with one of his few contemporaries: Lionel Messi. Give Franck freedom and he’s going to be ready to put on the show, especially if they can use Ottl and Van Bommel to absorb pressure and give him the outlet to run at Barca on the counter. Ribery is selling himself this series. We can act like he’s not leaving, but he probably will and another performance to match his double for les Blues and he can put him self into Torres and Berbatov transfer range.
Remember these two teams are very similar: they like possession, they have a variety of players who can do the incredible and they have shaky defenses and shakier keepers. So, Bayern has to play this game for the moment of inspiration, when someone creates a moment of beauty. With Schwiensteiger, Sosa, Toni and Ribery on the pitch, it gives them four potential candidates.
Yes Bayern had a bad weekend, but they had it against a very good side. But also a side with supreme confidence. If they can match Wolfsburg’s confidence as they visit Barcelona, they can dust themselves off after the 16 minute fiasco this weekend and come away with at least a draw and a goal, but only if they scrap the 4-4-2 and make some changes to the personnel.
Also, if they see someone back-heel the ball towards the net – SLOWLY – they might want to think of putting a foot to the ball.