Chelsea vs Bayern Munich Predictions and 2020 Champions League Round of 16 Preview
When Chelsea and Bayern Munich clash on Tuesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchups, it will be a meeting between two European powerhouses. Chelsea and Bayern Munich have combined for six European Titles with the German side own the advantage of five titles to win. However, Chelsea's lone Champions League victory came courtesy of Bayern Munich when the Blues beat them in penalties in 2012 on their home soil.
Bayern Munich is in the Round of 16 by way of topping Group B with a perfect record and 18 points (W6). Chelsea snuck into the Round of 16 by virtue of a one-point gap over their place Ajax. They finished tied with Valencia on points, but the H2H record favored Valencia. It'll be interesting to see how much stock Chelsea put into this matchup as they are heavy underdogs and are currently in a battle for the fourth CL spot for next season.
As I mentioned, Chelsea has won only one European title in their history, and it was a game that many Blues fans will never soon forget. Didier Drogba, a Chelsea icon, stepped up to the penalty spot and scored the game-winning penalty for a 4-3 advantage. What makes their victory impressive is not the way they played - they were anti-attacking football - it was that they pulled off the feat in Bayern's home stadium, much to the dismay of 62,000 people.
As for Bayern Munich, when you think about a European power, this is one of the few teams that come to mind instantly. Bayern has won five titles, the most recent in 2013 when they got the best of fellow German side, Borussia Dortmund. Bayern has moved on from the old regime of employing players past their prime but with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller leading the lines, Bayern has the experience needs to go deep into this tournament.
As it currently stands, Bayern Munich is listed as heavy -575 favorites to advance to the quarter-finals. If you believe that Bayern can take the first step to getting back to the Champions League final and reversing their fortunes, you can grab a piece of them at +600 which is third favorite. If you believe that Chelsea can overcome the German powerhouse, you can grab them at +350 to advance and +4000 to win the entire tournament. If you need some help with deciding on who to choose, Doc's offers up a great soccer service for you that runs almost 24/7/365. You can sign up now by clicking here.
First Leg: Stamford Bridge, London; Tuesday, February 25, at 3:00 pm
Second Leg: Allianz Arena, Munich; Wednesday, March 18 at 4:00 pm
It's been an up and down season for Chelsea as the Blues have some great wins and some seriously head-scratching losses. They sit in fourth place, four points up on Tottenham for the final automatic Champions League spot thanks to a 2-1 win on Saturday over the Spurs. Prior to that win, Chelsea had not won in four games, so this was a much-needed confidence-boosting win. They were able to rest a few key players that will feature on Tuesday vs Bayern, but even with a rested and fully fit squad, Chelsea are simply up against it head into this two-legged fixture.
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As for team news, the team will be without perhaps their most important player, N'Golo Kante, as he is out with an undisclosed muscle injury. That means the midfield will be likely comprised of Kovacic and Jorginho, with two wingbacks doing the duties out wide. From what I've seen of Chelsea this season, they simply don't have the talent or pace to keep up with a Bayern side that is nearly unstoppable once they get going.
Bayern Munich Storylines
The perennial German powerhouse, Bayern Munich finds themselves in a precarious position this late in the season. They are just one point ahead of second-place RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga title race but are still considered by many one of the best teams left in Europe. Bayern Munich needed a late winner from Robert Lewandowski to fend off last place Paderborn at home on Saturday, so perhaps they are ripe for the picking? Or perhaps they were simply looking ahead to this game against Chelsea and will be ready to play much better than they did Saturday morning. Either way, Bayern is a team that just finds a way to win football matches and they'll take confidence in the fact that they are unbeaten in 12 straight European away games while netting at least two goals in 11 of those matches. With the way Chelsea's defense is known to fold, Bayern should have their chances to score plenty of goals.
In terms of team news, Bayern has a fully fit team and plenty of options for manage, Hansi Flick to choose from. From what I've seen of Bayern this year, Alphonso Davies, the Canadian, has really impressed and earned his way into the starting XI. It'll be interesting to see if the coach trusts him enough to give him a start on the road in a European knockout game.
Chelsea vs Bayern Munich Predictions
For me, this matchup is dependent on how Bayern Munich play. If they play with their full intensity and concentration, they are as unstoppable as any team in Europe. They have experience, they have pace, they have goal-scoring and they have a world-class goalkeeper. This could overwhelm Chelsea into submission, but as we've seen in the past, the Blues seem to play their best football with their backs against the wall. If Bayern walks into Stamford Bridge and is allowed to dictate the play and bag one or two goals, Chelsea would be best served staying home for the second leg and conceding defeat. The Allianz Arena is one of the toughest places to win a football game, so any advantage Bayern has going into the second leg, it's almost certainly going to be maintained. I'd look to play the "over" 3 goals in the first leg, with the "over" once again in the second leg.
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