Champions League holders Bayern Munich kick off their quest for a seventh title with a Group A encounter against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday at 8pm.
Bayern XI: Neuer; Pavard, Süle, Alaba, Lucas Hernández; Kimmich, Goretzka; Coman, Müller, Tolisso; Lewandowski.
Atletico XI: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Savic, Renan Lodi; Carrasco, Koke, Héctor Herrera, Marcos Llorente; Luis Suárez, Joao Félix
Where to watch Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid on TV:
- UK: BT Sport ESPN
- US: CBS All Access
Where to live stream Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid:
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Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid build-up, pre-match team news & previous line-ups:
Having clinched the big-eared trophy just under two months ago in unprecedented circumstances, Hansi Flick will be preparing his side to do it all over again, starting with a heavyweight battle on home soil.
Atleti have twice reached the Champions League final under Diego Simeone, but have crashed out of the group stages, round-of-16 and quarter-finals in each of their past three seasons respectively.
The enigmatic Argentine will be hoping to lay down a marker for the campaign and pull off a huge result in his side’s first game, but they do not come much tougher than Bayern Munich, particularly with the form they are in.
This is the second time Bayern and Atleti have been drawn together in the group stages of this competition, and that 2016/17 season saw both sides clinch 1-0 home wins. So, will history repeat itself? Or are we in for a much more fascinating result?
- Bayern Munich (vs Arminia): Neuer; Pavard, Sule, Alaba, Hernandez; Goretzka, Tolisso, Muller, Coman, Gnabry*; Lewandowski.
- Atletico Madrid (vs Celta): Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Hermoso, Sanchez; Koke, Torreira, Correa, Lemar; Costa, Suarez.
Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry are both out of Wednesday’s game, with the former yet to recover from a knee injury, but Joshua Kimmich is expected to return after missing the weekend’s game due to the birth of his second child.
For Atleti, Diego Costa has been ruled out with a thigh injury, so Joao Felix is likely to partner Luis Suarez up front. Saul is also a doubt for the match with a knock.
Players to watch:
Bayern Munich: The Bavarians’ charge to the Portugal showpiece was a combination of goalscoring prowess, defensive resilience and midfield mastery. Alphonso Davies embodied the turbo-charged, progressive system of Flick’s rearguard; Thiago metronomically dictated the middle third; and Robert Lewandowski added the utter goalscoring devastation of any great side. And with Serge Gnabry out, the Polish striker will bear the brunt of the goalscoring responsibilities. But that’s not going to bother him. Lewandowski has continued his goalscoring form from last season in the new campaign, and has already been directly involved in 11 goals across all competitions, scoring seven. Two of those seven goals came at the weekend against Arminia, a game in which Lewandowski was taken off late to rest for Wednesday’s game. Even though it was only a few minutes, it could make a difference.
Atletico Madrid: Simone has lost plenty of top players over the years, which has only added to his world class reputation that he has consistently found successors to keep his side at the very peak of the game. The latest star to part ways is Thomas Partey, who joined Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal renaissance on deadline day. But, in return Simone picked up Lucas Torreira on loan from the Gunners. The Uruguayan, in essence, is a Simeone player in every respect. His hard-hitting, tenacious exploits typify the kind of football Simeone tries to produce and should slot in nicely to fill Partey’s void. With compatriots Luis Suarez and Jose Gimenez also at the club, Torreira should have few problems acclimatising to the demands of Simeone.
Scoreline prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Atletico Madrid
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