The final matchday of the UEFA Champions League group stage is set to take place this week. In one of the most enticing matches this week, Bayern Munich will host Atletico Madrid at the Allianz Arena. This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides in 2016, all three previous fixtures have been won by the home side. In the most recent encounter, Atletico were the 1:0 victors at the Vicente Calderon.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men got beaten by PSV Eindhoven in Matchday 4, Bayern’s lack of form this season has helped Diego Simeone’s side clinch the top spot. Including this season, Atlético Madrid have finished top of their group in all four of their Champions League campaigns under Diego Simeone.
Bayern Munich have only lost two of their 17 Champions League home games against Spanish opposition. The 4-0 defeat against Real Madrid in April 2014 is the only time Bayern Munich have failed to score at home in the Champions League against a Spanish club. On the other hand, the Bavarian club have only kept one clean sheet in their last 16 Champions League home games against Spanish opposition (4-0 v Barcelona, April 2013).
Bayern Munich have also won their last 14 home Champions League games (52 goals scored, 8 conceded), the longest winning run in the history of the competition. Real Madrid are the last team to beat them at the Allianz Arena, in April 2014 (0-4)
Atletico Madrid on the other hand, are the only side to have won all their group stage games this season(5), the last side to win all six games in the competition were Real Madrid in 2014/15 season. The record looks promising, as Los Colchoneros have never lost their final group game, under Diego Simeone. However, The Red and Whites’ only Champions League away win against German opposition came in October 1996 against Borussia Dortmund (2-1). Since then, they’ve lost their two trips (0-1 v Bayer Leverkusen in February 2015, 1-2 v Bayern Munich in May 2016).’
Even though they have won their first two away games this season, the trip to Allianz Arena will sure be the toughest of the lot. Antoine Griezmann is involved in Atlético’s last two goals against Bayern Munich, scoring the first and assisting the second. Since last season, the French striker has netted 10 and assisted three of Atlético’s 24 goals in the competition (54%).
Fernando Torres will be a notable absentee for Atletico Madrid, along with midfielder Augustin Fernandez and Alessio Cerci. Apart from these players, coach Diego Simeone will have a full fit squad to choose from.
Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez both featured for Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga clash against Mainz on Friday. Meaning Robben, who was initially doubted for the Mainz game will be fit to start while, there will be question marks over Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman’s fitness as they are tipped to miss the clash against Atleti.
FC Bayern: (4-3-3 formation) Manuel Neuer; Joshua Kimmich, Javi Martinez, Mats Hummels, David Alaba; Philipp Lahm, Renato Sanches, Thiago Alcantara; Douglas Costa, Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski
Atletico Madrid: (4-4-2 formation) Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez, Felipe Luis; Koke, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Ferreira Carrasco; Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gamiero
Prediction Munich: Bayern 0:1 Atletico
Anas Ali Molla
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