Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v Cluj
Louis van Gaal will be looking to build off of a great 3-0 win over Hannover on the weekend tonight against Cluj. Three points most certainly means a place in the round of sixteen, so a win is definitely the priority here for the Bavarian side. Die Roten will undoubtedly be favourites, but with their current injury problems the result cannot be guaranteed.
Bayern Munich will be boosted by the return of injured trio Bastian Schweinsteiger, Daniel van Buyten and Ivica Olic, but still boast a lengthy injury list. Mario Gomez put on a fantastic display in attack for the Bavarian giants on the weekend, and he will likely be partnered in offense by Ivica Olic. Anatoliy Tymoschuk, who put in a strong display in the center of defence for Bayern Munich on the weekend, will still be preferred to Martin Demichelis in the starting eleven, although he will probably feature in midfield instead of the center of defense.
Butt – Lahm, van Buyten, Badstuber, Pranjic – Schweinsteiger, Tymoschuk – Altintop, Mueller, Kroos – Gomez
Danijel Pranjic’s versatility allows for Tymoschuk to tuck into a defensive midfield role next to Bastian Schweinsteiger, so that the German international can push forward and influence attacking moves.
Louis van Gaal was quick to remind his side that CFR Cluj should not be taken lightly, and highlighted the threat that forward Lacina Traore will present. Still, Bayern Munich will expect a win here and I don’t doubt their ability to take three points here and seal their place in the round of sixteen.