It’s crunch time for Manchester United as they host Bayern Munich and play for Champions League survival. But a win might not be enough…
To say recent efforts by ten Hag’s men have been a roller coaster would be an understatement. Things were looking bright when they went up by two goals on two separate occasions away at Galatasaray before throwing both leads away. The performance against Chelsea was very admirable, where they had 4.11 expected goals (xG), a number that was by far the most they’ve had all season.
However, both of those glimpses of light were firmly met with darkness, most recently when losing 3-0 at Old Trafford to Bournemouth.
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Manchester United v Bayern Munich
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SEP 2023 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Bayern Munich 4-3 Man Utd
AUG 2018 FRIENDLY Bayern Munich 1-0 Man Utd
APR 2014 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Bayern Munich 3-1 Man Utd
APR 2014 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Man Utd 1-1 Bayern Munich
APR 2010 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Man Utd 3-2 Bayern Munich
MAR 2010 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Bayern Munich 2-1 Man Utd
JUL 2009 AUDI CUP Bayern Munich 0-0 Man Utd
MAR 2002 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Man Utd 0-0 Bayern Munich
NOV 2001 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Bayern Munich 1-1 Man Utd
APR 2001 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Bayern Munich 2-1 Man Utd
Pressure is mounting on Erik ten Hag, with some firms laying him at 11/8 the next EPL manager to leave. As much as I don’t believe Erik is primarily to blame for current issues and inconsistency, if they lose by massive margins against Munich, and Liverpool, and then subsequently go on to lose to West Ham and Aston Villa, the board will surely need to scapegoat someone.
The club sought the services of Scott McTominay midweek to face the press alongside the manager, where he told the press that all players were behind the Dutch leader and to ignore rumours saying otherwise. Whether this will end up being the kiss of death or not, time will tell…
The endless rotation of managers playing the same players week in and week out will continue ad infinitum. The bar that Sir Alex set will always be unfeasible and eventually, there must be a reality check that Utd might simply be a 5-10th placed club for the foreseeable future.
Utd must hope Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw. If that isn’t the case, a consolation in the Europa League may not be as the word suggests as they’ll have to eventually run into the hot favourites Liverpool. In that sense, this weekend’s fixture at Anfield between the two could be an interesting foreshadowing of Utd’s European fate if they nick 3rd spot.
Despite glowing Kane-based headlines dominating English discourse around the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich currently sit in second and four points off Leverkusen, a position made even more unaccommodating by the 5-1 defeat in Frankfurt three days ago. This result was following a goalless draw with Copenhagen in Germany. We shouldn’t pretend Thomas Tuchel’s side represents football perfection.
With that said, Kane has surpassed expectations with 18 Bundesliga goals approaching the halfway point, and he’s firmly on track to beat Lewandowski’s goalscoring record of 41 league goals in a season.
I’d argue that the reason for this is not the lesser quality of opponents he’s facing but instead a better quality of service from the likes of Coman, Sane, and Musiala who have together assisted a third of his league goals.
Despite Bayern’s fantastic away record in European group-stage games in recent years, I think this will be their biggest test of this season’s campaign. The fixture in Munich was an action-packed 4-3 and I think tonight will end up with a similar scoreline with Utd throwing everyone forward with nothing to lose. Therefore, I’m taking over 1.5 home goals at 20/21 with starsports.bet.
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