Bayern Munich will hope to shake off a mini slump as they prepare to lock horns with PSV Eindhoven at Allianz Arena this Wednesday.
Die Roten had conceded just one goal in their first eight matches. They have since conceded four in three. Certainly, it is not enough for alarm bells to ring around Allianz Arena, but it still is cause for worry. Fortunately, Mats Hummels has recovered and will partner international teammate Jerome Boateng in the heart of defense. In fact, Bayern will have everyone – except Franck Ribery – for this game. Arjen Robben has finally seemed to have shaken off his unfortunate injuries to return to the squad. However, given his propensity for injury, Robben, who scored Bayern’s first in their 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, will not likely feature from the start.
With Atletico Madrid – who crushed Granada 7-1 over the weekend – taking on whipping boys Rostov, it is even more imperative that Bayern get something positive from this game. Fortunately for die Roten, the stats appear to be firmly in their favor. For starters, they have won their past 13 Champions League games at home. That is a competition record. Second, no Dutch side has ever beaten Bayern at home. In ten attempts, the best they have managed is two draws. And finally, PSV have only won once in their last 14 trips to Germany.
That was back in December 1977, when they defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1. So, it is looking pretty good if one is a Bayern fan. But if one is allied with PSV, one will surely be very concerned. Philip Cocu’s squad were not expected to top this quartet – especially with Atletico Madrid and Bayern for company. That being said, they at least are expected to secure third spot and drop into the Europa League.
However, they dropped two valuable points against Rostov. In fact, PSV had to come from behind twice just to seal a two-all draw. This means they have earned just one point from a possible six, and like Bayern, are winless in their past three games. Although anything certainly is possible, the odds do not appear to be in their favor here. Still, die Roten have appeared off color over the past few weeks, especially some key players. Oddly enough, Robert Lewandowski scored all of Poland’s five goals over the international break, but has been surprisingly subdued for club.
Ancelotti himself has said that it is too early to talk of a crisis. The Italian tactician is certainly right. Nonetheless, Bayern have quite a bit at stake in this game – and more than just their impressive home record. Atletico come into this round already three points ahead, and if Los Rojiblancos, as expected, get the job done, they could be a rather uncomfortable five or six points ahead. Of course, die Roten can pull level on points if they beat PSV and somehow Rostov do the unthinkable to defeat Diego Simeone’s side.
But really, it goes without saying that only Rostov’s loyal fans are even entertaining that thought. Simply put, Bayern need to rebound, and quickly.