FC Bayern: Basel, Hertha Berlin and Marseille on the Agenda
This past week, fans witnessed a shattering of a UEFA record. The record home victory in the last 16 of the Champions League was previously 7-1, achieved by Bayern against Sporting, Barca against Leverkusen, and United against Roma. This week, that changed to 7-0 with only one team holding the feat—FC Bayern Munchen.
Bayern's away performances are typically poor. However, they are extremely strong at home.
Bayern has won every home game since they lost to Dortmund in November. Basel was brought down to Earth on Tuesday night as Bayern left Heiko Vogel speechless.
The second-leg victory forced Europe to stand up and take notice of the Germans. They deserve it after a performance that left Jupp Heynckes and the fans in awe.
I will admit that I almost cried in pride.
Every Bayern fan who had the pleasure of watching this match will remember it for a lifetime.
The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals was made today and Bayern was drawn against Olympique de Marseille. Bayern will play the first leg in the famed Stade Velodrome in France, Franck Ribery's home until mid-2007, on Wednesday, March 29. I am quite surprised at just how many people feel that this is an easy draw for Bayern.
After all, Marseille put out two sides that have almost embarrassed Bayern in recent memory—Dortmund and of course Inter. It was almost strange to not have Inter present in a Champions League draw or not to be drawn against a Milan club for once.
Marseille is a tough side, as Ribery pointed out. They can make life miserable for the opposition. Steve Mandanda, their inspirational keeper, however, will be absent from the first leg.
Bayern was drawn in the same half as Apoel and Real Madrid. Karl Heinz Rummenigge warned against looking ahead to a semifinal showdown against Madrid.
This week, the assignment is Hertha Berlin. This is the best time to fix Bayern's away troubles.
Berlin, under the tutelage of Otto Rehhaggel, hasn't exactly recovered from the Michael Skibbe days. The only victory the Greek posted came against Werder Bremen.
Hertha was thrashed 4-0 at the Allianz Arena earlier in the season. They consist of Bayern's former players Andreas Ottl, Christian Lell and Thomas Kraft in the team.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger back, Bayern was rejuvenated. Considering Bayern's away record and keeping in mind that the DFB Pokal semifinal against Gladbach is on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, he has a foot injury and has been ruled out of this match as has Ivica Olic with a back problem. If Bayern wins the coming two games, we will know that Bayern has indeed turned a corner.
So, its prediction time:
Hertha 1-1 Bayern
All inference to quotes courtesy of fcbayern.de and uefa.com
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