Bayern Munich travels to Spain to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Matchday five of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage has arrived and Bayern Munich will hit the road to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday. This will be the second meeting of the group stage between the two clubs as Bayern defeated Atletico 4-0 on matchday one. Since then, Bayern has remained undefeated in the Champions League while Atletico has struggled to record victories. The Spanish side needs positive results in the last two group games to qualify for the next round.
Entering Tuesday, Bayern sits atop Group A with 12 points and Atletico is second with five points. The game is crucial for the home side, but Flick will be eager to get a strong performance against a good team. Here are three things to watch for ahead of this fixture.
A difficult test away from home
Atletico is a very difficult side to defeat at the Estadio Metropolitano. They have not suffered a single defeat in a home match so far this season. Despite Bayern winning 4-0 in the first meeting, there’s reason to believe that this encounter will be a much tougher challenge.
The Spanish side has been performing very well since the match in October against Bayern. They are in second place in La Liga and have conceded just two goals in the domestic league. After defeating Barcelona recently, Atletico has to be feeling very good about their chances of achieving victory entering this match.
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With Bayern clinching the top spot in Group A and securing a place in the knockout rounds, it is not absolutely necessary that they win this match. For this reason, Hansi Flick does have the option to rotate the squad and leave some of the usual starters out of the starting lineup. RB Leipzig does await this weekend in a marquee matchup in the quest to retain the Bundesliga title.
With a crucial match upcoming in the domestic league, Flick could very well utilize different players in the starting lineup to limit the minutes of players such as Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka. It is worth noting that Bayern will be putting their 15 match winning streak in the Champions League on the line in this match and a perfect record in the group stage.
If they do field a starting lineup without their usual stars included, they will be risking losing this winning streak against a side who need to record a victory to advance to the knockout rounds. It’s going to be a tough decision with Leipzig upcoming, but possible squad rotation will be something to look out for ahead of this fixture.
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Joao Felix finding good form
One of Atletico’s playmakers has been performing very well since the October match against Bayern. Joao Felix is showing impressive form with six goals and one assist in his last six appearances in all competitions. He will be a player who Bayern will have to keep a close eye on in this fixture as he was dangerous at times in the first meeting as well. During the match in October, Felix registered two shots and two key passes. If Felix is allowed to have an impact on this match then Atletico’s chances of winning will only go up.