Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v Roma
Louis van Gaal’s Bayern Munich reached the Champions League final last year which they unfortunately lost to Jose Mourinho’s Inter side, but will be looking to kick off this season’s European campaign with three points against a very strong Roma outfit. Van Gaal will expect his side to go out and win on home turf, but Bayern Munich have already been surprised once this year when they lost 2-0 to promoted side Kaiserslautern earlier on in the season.
Bayern Munich have just come off a nil-nil draw with Werder Bremen despite their best efforts, but will be hoping that the goals flow today against a Roma side who were tonked 5-1 on the weekend away to Cagliari. If Roma’s backline is as dodgy as it was on the weekend, the likes of Franck Ribery and Miroslav Klose will have an absolute field day.
If Bayern Munich can pull a big win off against Roma here, it may just give Die Roten the confidence and belief they need to push themselves to another Bundesliga title and possibly the Champions League final once more. While van Gaal certainly has some injury problems to consider, the Bayern Munich squad is deep enough to cover for them. Here’s a potential XI:
Butt – Lahm, Badstuber, van Buyten, Contento – Schweinsteiger, van Bommel – Mueller, Kroos, Ribery – Olic
After being taken apart on the weekend by a flying Cagliari side, Ranier will most likely consider changes. The last thing the wily old Roman needs is another dodgy set of results when his side could be performing far better. Roma will likely field a lineup full of excellent passing players, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to hold Bayern Munich out.
Sergio – Rosi, Burdisso, Juan, Cassetti – Brighi, Pizarro, De Rossi, Perrotta – Totti, Borriello
Bayern Munich were very nearly ousted from the Champions League in the group stage last season, but ended up in the final with a real chance of winning the tournament. That experience, and the continued growth of their young players, should get them over the line against Roma.