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Villarreal and Bayern Munich pick
Back Villareal, or tie in double chance in Caesars’ sportsbook.
Bayern Munich is likely to be too strong for two legs but could be beaten by the Yellow Submarine Wednesday.
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Bayern’s Best Chance to Win a Non English European Champion
Three of the favourites for the Champions League are members from the Premier League: Manchester City and Liverpool. Bayern Munich, the German champions, are sandwiched between Liverpool and Chelsea as the third overall favorites to lift the trophy on May 28. According to the bookmakers, if there’s to be any non-Premier League winners it would be Julian Nagelsmann.
That seems about right. Bayern played some amazing soccer this season.
They were sensational in the group stage, amassing 18 points out of a possible 18 (despite being drawn in a tough section alongside Benfica, Barcelona, and Dynamo Kyiv), scoring 22 goals and conceding only three. Bayern has improved since last year and are on course to become the first team to win the Bundesliga title for a 10th season in a row.
But, Bayern showed some signs of weakness in recent weeks. They lost to Bochum in the Bundesliga and draw with Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim and Hoffenheim. In the Champions League they needed a late Kingsley Coman goal to rescue a draw in the first leg of the round of 16 against Red Bull Salzburg. The new defense of three could prove vulnerable to strong opposition, especially if Nagelsmann continues with Serge Gnabry and Coman as attacking wing-backs.
A more positive interpretation of the formation would be to see what it allows Bayern to do for other teams. The Austrian champions were blown away by a team which managed to get Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Coman into one starting XI in the second leg against Salzburg. Nagelsmann hopes the advantages of this system will outweigh any potential disadvantages when we get to the final of the Champions League.
Villarreal Showed They Are Tough to Beat Against Juventus
Caesars rate Villarreal as the clear underdogs in this one, with a price of +500 available on the Spanish side to advance to the semi-finals at Bayern’s expense.
It will indeed be difficult for Villarreal to get the better of Bayern over 180 minutes of soccer, but that does not mean they are not capable of causing Nagelsmann’s men problems.
They certainly beat Juventus in this round. Granted, the Italian giants are not in Bayern’s league at the moment – they might only finish fourth in Serie A this season and have now lost in the last 16 of the Champions League three years on the bounce. Villarreal deserves credit for the performance they showed over both legs.
Unai Eery’s team fell behind in the first leg within seconds. However, they didn’t panic. Juventus fell in their own trap by going too deep too soon, but Villarreal displayed patience and perseverance to win the match. In the return fixture, Gerard Moreno and Pau Torres scored goals that gave them a convincing 3-0 win. All three goals came in the final 12 minutes, but before that Villarreal played with discipline and organization – just as Emery teams often do.
This is the first time Villarreal have reached the last eight of this competition since 2008/09, when they lost to Arsenal. They will not be here to just make numbers.
Bayern Munich will be in for the Stern Test Wednesday
Munich shouldn’t expect an easy match at Estadio de la Ceramica. Villarreal must win almost all matches to have any chance of progressing.
A win is unlikely to be within their reach, as was the case when Red Bull Salzburg hosted Bayern. However, Villarreal may replicate that feat by drawing with Lewandowski on their home ground.
Emery has not lost any of the nine games they have played at home in all competitions since last month, even though Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus visited them. Madrid and Sevilla are the only two teams that have lost less games in La Liga. Villarreal has scored more home goals this season than any other Spanish team.
This might seem surprising given Emery’s perception as a defensive coach. However, such statistics push back against the simplistic portrayal of Emery the ex-head coach of Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.
Bayern must balance attack and defence if they want to win on Wednesday. Although they will likely dominate possession, they will need to be cautious of Villarreal’s fast breaks forward.
All things being equal, we’d choose Villarreal over the draw in double chance.
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How to Watch Villarreal vs Bayern Munich
Villarreal vs Bayern Munich Information Teams Villarreal vs Bayern Munich Location Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain Time Wednesday, 6 April 2022, 03. 00 PM EDT How to watch Paramount+