The winner of the match will be the leader of the group. Yes, I am talking about the Valencia vs Bayern Munich encounter at Mestalla. Both teams will try to snatch a victory to ensure further progress in the CL this season. In the 1st leg at the Alianz arena, Bayern was the better team as they beat Los Che by 2-1. At Mestalla Valencia look strong but the Bavarians will not be intimidated by that.
Valencia has been very inconsistent this season, sometimes playing quality football and sometimes out of touch. They have managed to grab wins at home, although they have been miserable in away fixtures. Their home record and fan support this season might work as an advantage for them. Joao Perreira will miss the match so RB position may be a huge problem for VCF. Gago is missing too, but Banega is there to fill the void.
The Bavarians looks strong as usual although they had some mediocre games recently. They are leading the Bundesliga and CL table this season. Good news for them is that Mario Gomez and Ribery are ready to go, although Robben will be missing. Kroos was rested for this match. So the Germans will be deadly in the attack department. Rami and Ruiz or Rami and Ricardo Costa will need to be strong to repel any threats upfront.
Sat 17/11/12 PRD Valencia 2 – 1 Espanyol
Sun 11/11/12 PRD Real Valladolid 1 – 1 Valencia
Thu 08/11/12 UCL Valencia 4 – 2 BATE
Sun 04/11/12 PRD Valencia 2 – 0 Atlético Madrid
Wed 31/10/12 CDR Llagostera 0 – 2 Valencia
Sat 17/11/12 BUN Nürnberg 1 – 1 Bayern München
Sat 10/11/12 BUN Bayern München 2 – 0 Eintracht Fran…
Thu 08/11/12 UCL Bayern München 6 – 1 Lille
Sat 03/11/12 BUN Hamburger SV 0 – 3 Bayern München
Thu 01/11/12 DFP Bayern München 4 – 0 Kaiserslautern
Probable/ Key absences
Valencia: Pablo Piatti; Fernando Gago; Sergio Canales; Joao Pereirra, Mathieu
Bayern Munich: Robben, Boateng.
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita.
Defenders: Joao Pereira, Barragán, Ricardo Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Rami, Cissokho.
Midfielders: Albelda, Tino Costa, Éver Banega, Dani Parejo, Guardado, Viera, Bernat, Feghouli.
Forwards: Jonas, Valdez, Soldado.
Probable Line-up: Alves; Barragan, Rami, R.Costa, Cissokho; Tino, Banega, Albelda; Guardado, Feghuoli Soldado.
Tactics: Low defensive line, overloading own box during the Bayern attack and lot of counter attack, trying to control midfield to provide service for Soldado.
Squad: Not announced yet.
Line-up: Neuer, Lahm, Dante, Badstuber, Alaba, Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Kroos, Ribery, Mandzukic.
Tactics: Using moderate defensive line and keeping good possession, exploiting the wings and cutting inside the penalty area from the wings, overall typical German style and attitude.
Banega & Tino Costa vs Schweinsteiger & Javi Martinez
The battle amongst these guys will be enjoyable to watch. The superior duo is likely to dictate the entire match. Déjà vu for Javi Martinez I believe. He played against Los Che many times when he was a part of Athletic Bilbao. Let’s see who owns the vital midfield area.
Considering that the Bavarians have won 7 of 9 away games this season, one should consider the Bavarians an equally hot candidate to win the match in Mestalla. Los Che has not been as impressive against German sides but at the same time they have home field advantage in their favor. After comparing so many things it is hard to say who has the edge in this match. Overall, I am expecting an exciting game and I think the score will be Valencia 2-1 Bayern Munich.
-Rezaur Rahman, (twitter: @Rezaur_Rahman)