Bayern Munich are one of the firm favourites to seal the UEFA Champions League title this season. The Bavarians have already made a strong impression by securing a thumping 4-1 win over Chelsea in the second leg, thereby sealing the tie with a 7-1 aggregate. However, with Barcelona awaiting them in the next round, they must improve on their weaknesses. And in this article, we will discuss three things Bayern can learn from their win over Chelsea.
Joshua Kimmich must adapt quickly
With Benjamin Pavard picking up an injury in training last month, Bayern Munich are still yet to provide an official timeframe on his return. So presumably, the Bundesliga champions will have to make do without their reliable Frenchman during the remainder of their Champions League campaign. It means Joshua Kimmich will have to operate in the right-back role, in his stead.
However, the German international wasn’t really involved in the game as much as he would have liked against Chelsea. His lack of offensive support was understandable as he was assigned a more defensive role to support the two central defenders. But, he struggled, at times, to keep up with Callum Hudson-Odoi.
It could be a cause for concern for Hansi Flick ahead of the game against Barcelona. And although Kimmich hasn’t played at right-back in a long time, he quickly needs to train and adapt to that role if Bayern Munich are to have any hopes of advancing further into the tournament.
A high line of press might be risky against Barcelona
Bayern Munich impressed the onlookers with their well organised high line of press last night. The defensive combination of David Alaba and Jerome Boateng were excellent in catching Tammy Abraham in their offside traps several times throughout the game. However, employing such method could backfire against the much better attacking force of FC Barcelona.
Indeed, the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are more than capable of deceiving the defenders with their sheer class and individual brilliance. It may come to a point where coach Flick may need to come up with a completely different idea to contain the Barcelona attack, perhaps with a deep defensive line.
Goretzka must be more careful
Regardless of the quality of players like Thiago Alcantara and Leon Goretzka, the absence of a real fighter and gifted individual like Kimmich will always be a massive blow for FC Bayern, heading into this Barcelona game.
On the bright side, however, Thiago looked really good against Chelsea and shouldn’t have much difficulty in dealing with his former club. However, since the Spaniard loves to move forward and is a bit attack-oriented when compared to Kimmich, Goretzka needs to take responsibility.
Indeed, the German must remain aware of his positioning and make sure he doesn’t drift too far from his region, failing which could allow the Barcelona midfielders additional space in the half-spaces. This could be a critical component as the Bavarians brace themselves for a stern test in their next game.