Bayern Munich-Manchester United: Robben's Absence May Prove Costly

Robin SAnalyst IMarch 30, 2010

RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL - SEPTEMBER 14: (ISRAEL OUT) Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich controls the ball during a training session ahead of their Champions League match against Macabi Haifa on September 14, 2009 in Ramat Gan, Israel.  (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Bayern Munich, the best German club, hosts Manchester United today in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals.

The Bavarians may sweat it out against an in-form Manchester United team, who are flying high with some terrific performances in the domestic competition of late.

Even before the kickoff, the German club are on the back-foot with a few injury concerns to some of their key players.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is due to serve a one match ban and his absence would be a blow to the German club.

However, Dutch winger Arjen Robben may well sit out due to an injury and his absence might turn out to be a boon for Manchester United. He single-handedly destroyed Fiorentina in the Round-16 and is enjoying one of his best seasons.

Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez is back from injury but lacks match practise and the coach will think twice before playing him in such a high-profile game.

Muller and Olic can cause some troubles but the major threat is Frank Ribery. He has pace and technique, so it's a no-brainer to keep him in check in order to stop Bayern Munich.

Philip Lahm on the right-flank will make life difficult for the likes of Nani and Patrice Evra, but Nani, enjoying his best season, showed glimpses of his immense skills and tricks with a few eye-catching performances of late.

The onus will be on Antonio Valenica and Nani to deliver the crosses for Wayne Rooney, who's fresh after sitting out against Bolton, and he will be looking forward to adding a few more goals to his already glittering season tally.

Meanwhile, Dimitar Berbatov showed his value with a brace against Bolton and by doing so has forced Sir Alex Ferguson to rethink his strategy.

Most difficult choice is between Berbatov and Ji-Sung Park. Park has been doing so well against tougher opponents and his work-rate is unbelievable. On the other hand, Berbatov can create something out of nothing, although he's sloppy at times.

Park offers variety and pace, whereas Berbatov offers sublime touches and strength.

But only one can play and Fergie must make the wise decision.

Red Devils' midfield is vulnerable, and if Bayern Munich manage to control the midfield then Rooney will not get sufficient supply which will reduce Rooney's impact on the game.



Bayern Munich are no push-overs and home ground advantage will be a crucial factor in today's game. The result will depend on Robben's presence.

I am going for a 2-1 win to Manchester United.