With Juventus hoping that the whole form of the German national team facing the Italian side seeps through to the club version in their first leg against Bayern Munich, the Bavarians are hoping that league form is what counts, and in that no one really matches them in the whole of Europe.
Bayern aren’t the official Bundesliga champions yet, needing two more points in order to secure the title, but the comeback Dortmund need to do in order to collapse the pretty much flawless season Jupp Heynckes’ men are having is something even fairy tales aren’t made of. To make things worse for everyone else, Bayern just beat Hamburg 9-2 (four goal by Cluadio Pizarro, two by Arjen Robben), although some say such wins can be a distracting element before matches against the likes of Juventus.
While attacking with fury in hope of getting as good of a result as possible sounds like a good idea, despite Franck Ribery not 100% fit, Bayern might play it a bit cautious earlier in the match, with Juventus not really minding being the less aggressive side in away matches, leaning on what isn’t statistically the best defense in Europe, but as long as Giorgio Chiellini is in the lineup, it probably is.
For Juventus, it’s their first visit to the last 8 in a very long time but they’re probably not minding being considered the underdogs in this match up. Many thought the same of their clashes against Chelsea in the group stage, and Juve came out of Stamford Bridge with an impressive draw before beating the Blues 3-0 in Turin. Seeing as how Bayern struggled in the second leg against Arsenal (being a bit too complacent and relaxed), playing at the Allianz-Arena isn’t the end of the world.
We’re clearly going to see Bayern dominate and attack, but it’s going to be about how Thomas Muller managed to move players out of their comfortable position in order to give Phillip Lahm a chance to break on the wing; how Toni Kroos will not only bring his usual attacking abilities, but also keep a watchful eye over Andrea Pirlo, the beginning to almost everything in the Juventus midfield, while the work rate battle between Claudio Marchisio and Bastian Schweinsteiger will be another exciting battle to see.
Prediction – While Bayern are the better team, it doesn’t look like a match they’ll have an easy time in. Juventus are playing well recently in the Serie A, as the smell of the league title brings new wind into their sails at the perfect time. With away goals being such an important factor these days, I see a 2-1 Bayern win which they won’t be too happy about.