Bayern Munich v Dinamo Zagreb Preview: Will Pep Go With A 3 Man Defence?

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Bayern Munich v Dinamo Zagreb Preview

45 games since Dinamo last lost a game and now they are all prepared to come to Munich and play with the same fervour that won them their last Champions League home fixture v Arsenal. Surely, the surprise package of this group, Dinamo Zagreb will be a threat but for a team like Bayern Munich who have earned the tag of “European Powerhouse”, they should not have much problem in getting all 3 points this Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola

Pep has fielded various innovative formations this season and throughout his managerial stay at Bayern, sometimes they were tactical and sometimes it was because he had no other option to turn to. Sometimes, it would be the latter forcing him to make ingenious tactical formations which would win them surprise results while sometimes it could backfire totally. With Benatia still out injured and Robben not fully fit, Kingsley Coman has been making superb use of his chance scoring and assisting in recent fixtures. With Javi also returning and getting his game time to return to full match fitness, the absence of Benatia is not felt much on the defence.

In goal, there will be no doubts as to who will start. Manuel Neuer is irreplaceable and his deputies will only play, god forbid that the German #1 is injured or there is a guarantee of qualification as group winners.

The interesting bit would be the defence line. Will Pep go with a 3 man defence like in recent games this season, which was mostly due to injuries and suspensions, or will he revert to a classical 4 man defence. Either way, Boateng and Alaba are sure starters. Javi Martinez will be eager to start his first CL fixture since forever while Rafinha will also push for a start and earn some game time. In my opinion, Pep will look to give Rafinha his start and Javi his game time while partnering them with the rock – Jerome Boateng and the versatile full-back David Alaba.

In mid-field, there is little question as to who will play. Either of Lahm or Alonso, mostly Lahm will partner Vidal will be the central mid-field pairing with Thiago playing as a CAM, just behind the striker. The flanks will be in the care of the able feet of Brazilian, Douglas Costa who has been a revelation and probably the signing of the summer so far and Thomas Muller, the ever reliable and new deputy vice-captain of Bayern. He scored a wonder goal last CL fixture in Greece, he probably will be on every betters list to score against Zagreb too.

There is very less doubt as to who will be leading the attack and with his scintillating form right now, I’d put all my money on Lewandowski scoring more than once. The pole has scored 7 goals in his last 2 games for Bayern and he is the leading goal scorer in the Bundesliga as of now. He will be eager to add to his tally and there is little doubt as to why he can’t.

Zagreb, like mentioned before are a surprise package. Pep can’t take them too lightly, which is why I am quite confident that youngsters like Kimmich and Coman would only come on as 2nd half substitutes. As a Bayern fan, I hope there is no shocks this week and I also hope we win by a difference of 2-3 goals.

Alankrith Shankar

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