FC Bayern Munich: A Look at the Tough Champions League Draw and the Weekend Game

Samrin HasibAnalyst IAugust 25, 2011

The Champions League trophy.
The Champions League trophy.

FC Bayern will play Manchester City, Napoli, and Villarreal in what promises to be the toughest and most entertaining group in the Champions League this season.

These four teams were paired with each other partly by Bayern legend Paul Breitner in Monte Carlo earlier today.

FC Bayern is obviously the most experienced European side amongst the four, with four European Cups to their name.

Villarreal, with their stylish football, is also experienced in European match-play.

Manchester City, in their first campaign in the Champions League, perhaps had an easier group in mind.

An interesting fact about Bayern is that four out of the five matches that Bayern has lost in the Champions League over the past two seasons have come against Italian opposition (Inter, Roma, and Fiorentina).

Bayern's new defence, which has conceded just once in six matches in all competitions, will be put under the gun by the three sides they have been paired with.

Bayern can keep possession very well. This season, so far, they have shown that they can retrieve the ball very well, too. They press their opponents a lot more than they used to last season.

Moreover, they play sensible football.

While Louis Van Gaal's Bayern would blow hot and cold, Jupp Heynckes' Bayern is calm and collected and, more importantly, consistent.

Bayern got out of second gear against Zurich for about 30 minutes in the first leg. After scoring the away goal early in the second leg, they just played the match out. Van Gaal's Bayern would have tried to hammer Zurich.

Villarreal also came out of the playoffs. They beat Odense 3-1 on aggregate. Villarreal struggled in the tie but at the end let their class do the talking as they put three past the Danes in the second leg in Spain.

Villarreal has some problems at the back. They are also missing Santi Cazorla, following his sale to Malaga.

Manchester City have won both their games in the Premier League so far. However, they played positively against Bolton, and despite winning, conceded twice. Roberto Mancini will perhaps play defensively in Europe as he did previously with Inter Milan.

Meanwhile, Napoli is a dangerous Serie A side. With the likes of Edinson Cavani and the Argentine Lavezzi in their squad, they are a threat to any side.

The draw also saw Borussia Dortmund paired with Arsenal, Olympique de Marseille, and Olympiacos. Bayer 04 Leverkusen was paired with Chelsea, Valencia, and Genk.

The games will start off in the second week of September.

In other news Bayern takes on Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga this week.

Last year, Bayern visited the Betze and lost 2-0. Ivo Ilicevic and Srdjan Lakic scored in that match as a very disciplined FCK held out Bayern.

FCK drew their previous league match against Koeln.

Arjen Robben will perhaps not start this one. He sat out the match against Zurich, as well, with a back problem.

Bayern fans will be hoping that Heynckes keeps Daniel Van Buyten on the bench and plays with the first-choice back four of Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, and Philipp Lahm. Van Buyten had a less-than-impressive outing against Zurich in midweek.

Lahm recently released his autobiography, in which he blasted his former coaches Juergen Klinsmann and Louis Van Gaal.

Ivica Olic and Breno will be unavailable for this match.

Bayern, after three match-days, sits third in the table behind Hanover 96 and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Just in case the fans don't know yet, Bayern was paired with Ingolstadt in the second round of the German Cup.

And it's prediction time:

Prediction: FCK 1, Bayern 3


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