PREVIEW | Bayern Munich vs Lyon: Germans bursting with confidence under Hansi Flick

Bayern Munich’s treble quest continues as they take on Olympique Lyon in the UEFA Champions League semi-final in Lisbon. The Bavarians have been on a brilliant run of form, capped off by thrashing Barcelona 8-2 in an unforgettable performance.

Five time winners FC Bayern have not made the Champions League final since the 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund in 2013. Lyon are attempting to be the fifth French club to reach the European Cup final after Reims, Saint-Étienne, Marseille and Monaco.

Bayern Munich in barnstorming form

Bayern Munich are fresh off a second straight domestic double. Hansi Flick’s side have won their last 19 competitive matches, taking teams apart in all competitions with 23 goals in their previous five outings.  

The Bavarians won 4-0 at Wolfsburg in their final Bundesliga match. Bayer Leverkusen were dispatched 4-2 in the DFB-Pokal final, Chelsea falling 4-1 in Munich and 7-1 on aggregate.

Bayern Munich left no doubt about their title credentials in the Champions League quarter-finals, completely humiliating Barcelona in a match that won’t be forgotten.

The 8-2 victory was a masterclass in pressing, chance creation and conversion. A sight to behold!

And we haven’t even talked about Robert Lewandowski.

Bayern Munich Team News

Right-back Benjamin Pavard has returned to training but Hansi Flick is unlikely to mess with the side that beat Barcelona.

Flick has the formula

The Bayern Munich hierarchy couldn’t have dreamed of a better outcome when they appointed Hansi Flick as manager in November. The former German assistant has shown he possesses the man management and tactical skills to succeed at the top level.

He overcame injuries to Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernández, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago, Ivan Perisic and Kingsley Coman by improving individuals. David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in defence, Leon Goretzka in midfield, Serge Gnabry and Thomas Müller in attack – they have all improved under Flick.

Let’s talk about Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski can’t be stopped as he approaches his 32nd birthday. The Polish striker is as lethal as they come, scoring goals at an incredible rate and working just as hard off the ball to create space and opportunities for himself and teammates.

Lewandowski has scored 14 goals in eight Champions League appearances this season. He scored six goals in four DFB-Pokal starts alongside 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances!

That’s 55 goals for the season, and there is every reason to think that tally will be topped on Wednesday.

Lyon competing against top class opposition 

Olympique Lyon are aiming to be legitimate title challengers in Ligue 1. Les Gones have shown signs of improvement since Rudi Garcia was appointed manager in November.

Lyon took PSG all the way in the French League Cup final, losing in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 draw after extra time. They lost 2-1 against Juventus in Italy but did enough in the first leg to advance on away goals.

The French club were unfancied against Man City and surprised many with a 3-1 win. Maxwel Cornet pounced to score the opening goal, Moussa Dembele coming off the bench to score two goals after Kevin De Bruyne’s equaliser.

They were on the back foot with 28% possession and 7-18 shots, a potential dress rehearsal for the match against Bayern. 

Lyon Team News

Lyon left-back Youssouf Kone is injured and midfielder Lucas Tousart is preparing for life at Hertha Berlin.

Moussa Dembele answered Rudi Garcia with two goals off the bench against Man City. Has he done enough to start at Karl Toko Ekambi’s expense?

Head to Head

Bayern Munich have a 4-2 advantage against Lyon with two draws in eight Champions League matches. It was all square in six group stage matches from 2000-08 with the last tie coming in the 2009-10 semi-finals.

Bayern won 1-0 in Munich thanks to a long range Arjen Robben strike. The 3-0 win secured in France saw Ivica Olic hit a hat-trick before Louis van Gaal’s side fell 2-0 against José Mourinho’s Inter Milan in the final. 

How They Match Up

Lyon have shown an ability to drop deep and stay organised against superior opposition. Rudi Garcia has been setting up with three at the back which should continue in Lisbon.

Memphis Depay is capable of match winning displays and Moussa Dembele could be a surprise package. The midfield three of Houssem Aouar, Bruno Guimarães and Maxence Caqueret has potential and the back three have put in some brave performances.

Bayern’s weakness is speed behind their right back which can be exposed by Maxwel Cornet and Depay.

Bayern Munich have an extremely strong squad, confidence is soaring and scoring machine Robert Lewandowski is up front. Hansi Flick was able to call on Kingsley Coman, Philippe Coutinho, Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernández and Corentin Tolisso off the bench against Barcelona.

The Bavarians have better players in every position and have greater depth on the bench. With Thomas Müller roaming around the front line alongside Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic/Kingsley Coman, it’s a formidable attack that few defences can stop.

The French club have exceeded expectations in reaching the semi-finals and we know anything is possible. Bayern Munich are in supreme form however, simply unstoppable and the German champions should be a bridge too far for Lyon.

Matthew Marshall

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