Why Bayern Munich Should Fear Juventus in the Champions League Quarterfinals

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IMarch 15, 2013

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 10:  Players of FC Juventus celebrate victory at the end of the Serie A match between FC Juventus and Calcio Catania at Juventus Arena on March 10, 2013 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

It's a dream fixture for neutrals and a nail-biting encounter for fans of both Bayern Munich and Juventus.

The Germans are a force to be reckoned with, as they have a 20-point lead in the Bundesliga over second-place Borussia Dortmund and have only lost one match domestically. 

Juventus, on the other hand, have the same starting XI which guided them to the near historic 49-match undefeated streak in Serie A, which sent shivers down the spines of opponents as they displayed their prowess in their brand new Juventus Stadium.

However, Bayern Munich needs to be wary of their Italian opposition, as "La Vecchia Signora" has one of the best defensive and midfield lines in all of Europe.

Led by their architect in the midfield, Andrea Pirlo, the Bianconeri have roared through the Serie A, already putting their ballot in for the Scudetto as they have a nine-point lead over second-place Napoli.

Their 3-5-2 formation has been a recipe for their success, as Antonio Conte made the switch two years ago and has not looked back. When the opposition manages to get through the staunch marking of the likes of Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio, Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner, they can expect another rude welcome.

Perhaps no three defenders in Europe complement each other better than the Bianconeri back three.

Giorgio Chiellini has the aerial prowess and rugged toughness, Andrea Barzagli is elegant and reminds of the great Alessandro Nesta and Leonardo Bonucci provides the vision and is the best ball-playing central defender in Italy.

Together, they're a force to be reckoned with.

Perhaps the only real weakness in the Juventus starting XI is up front, where their leading goal scorers Fabio Quagliarella and Sebastian Giovinco aren't even starters anymore, as the in-form Alessandro Matri and polarizing Mirko Vucinic have now become the preferred pair. 

Interestingly enough, both teams have become a model for others to follow. The daughter of Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi said Bayern Munich are an organization they'd like to imitate, while Juventus has shown the rest of Serie A how having a new privately owned stadium leads to more profit and an incredible atmosphere, which gives the team an added charge.

Juventus are seemingly catching Bayern at the best moment, as the Germans nearly gave up a 3-1 aggregate lead when they lost 2-0 to Arsenal at home, only to get rewarded by the much-maligned away goals rule.

Not only this, but Juventus are essentially a mirror of the Italian national team right down to the formation and the squad, as more than seven players in Cesare Prandelli's preferred XI ply their trade for the Old Lady.  

On the other hand, the German national team is molded from Bayern Munich, as they had seven of their players feature on "Die Mannschaft" when they lost to Italy in the 2012 Euro semifinal. 

Juventus has not been scored on in 490 minutes in the Champions League. Incredibly, the last time they conceded a goal in this competition was back on Oct. 23, 2011 in a 1-1 tie against Nordsjaelland.

Sure, you could say shutting down Celtic in the round of 16 wasn't the most difficult of tasks, but their 3-0 dismantling of Chelsea at home gave Bianconeri fans an added sense of calm that perhaps the team's domination can extend well outside the Italian border.