The most interesting clash in the Round of 16 in the Champions League between Bayern Munich and Juventus is closely poised after the end of the first leg earlier this month. Bayern were favorites to get one over the Italian side who showed great zeal and confidence in their comeback from 2 goals down to go into the second leg level at two goals apiece.
For Guardiola, he will have to get his team out all guns blazing and have no weak links if he wants his team to get into the final of this tournament, something he has not been able to do in the last two years.
A fifth Serie A title is on the horizon for the Italian side who are now 3 points clear of Napoli and they have also booked a place in the Coppa Italia final making their season more than a success story but they will have to be at their best to have any chance of moving into the next round of the Champions League this season.
Here is the preview of this clash along with the team news, predicted line-ups, predictions and betting odds:
The 2nd leg of the Round of 16 ties between Bayern Munich and Juventus will be played on Wednesday the 16th of March at the Allianz Arena in Munich. The kickoff is scheduled at 7:45 pm GMT (1:15 am IST on Thursday).
Guardiola does not have too many new injury problems for this game against Juventus. Star winger Franck Ribery is back fit and ready for a place in the starting XI on the night. However, defenders Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber are both out of action this mid-week due to different injuries. Kimmich is once again expected to start the game at the Allianz Arena.
The Italian outfit on the other end has plenty of problems before his game. Star players Marchisio and Chiellini are both out of this game due to injuries but the biggest loss will be of club top scorer Paulo Dybala who also netted in the first leg. Former Bayern striker Mario Mandzukic will undergo a late fitness test which will see Alvaro Morata lead the line for the visitors.
Neuer; Lahm, Kimmich, Alaba, Bernat; Vidal, Alonso; Robben, Muller, Costa; Lewandowski
Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra; Cuadrado, Khedira, Hernanes, Pogba; Morata, Mandzukic
Robert Lewandowski vs Leanardo Bonucci:
Lewandowski has so far had a dream season where he has been scoring for fun. His movement and excellent finishing abilities will be up against Italian national Bonucci who himself has been solid at the back for the Old Lady. This battle in the final third will surely have a huge impact on the result of the game.
Paul Pogba vs Arturo Vidal:
Vidal was superb with his positive energy in the final third in the first leg but often left some gap at him back. This will be exactly what Pogba will want to exploit at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. Both players are renowned for their positional sense and it will be interesting to see who gets the better of the other by the end of the game.
Juventus are winless in their last four Champions League games against Bayern Munich (D1 L3), their last victory dating back to November 2005 courtesy of a David Trezeguet brace (2-1).
Juventus scored only six goals in this season’s group stages, the lowest total among the 16 teams that made it to the knockout campaign.
Bayern Munich have made it to the semi-finals in five of the last six seasons.
Bayern Munich were the top scorers in this season’s group stages alongside Real Madrid, netting 19 goals.
Alvaro Morata has scored six goals in eight starts in the Champions League knockout phase.
Robert Lewandowski has scored 30 Champions League goals since his debut in 2011/12. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (60) and Lionel Messi (43) have been more prolific over the same period.
Bayern Munich: 2/5
Bayern, at the Allianz Arena, will surely start this game as favorites to move into the next round especially having scored 2 away goals. However, Juventus have not been easy to beat in recent times and will put up a good fight for their money on the night. It will be a tough game for the German side who might just shade it through in the end.
Our Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Juventus