With the midweek aggregate win over Aresenal FC this last Wednesday, FC Bayern squeaked its way into the UEFA Champions League final 8 with a dominant performance in London and a showcase in shoddy finishing on Wednesday. With the draw today we now know the path to UEFA Champions League trophy lies through Juventus.
At this point in the year, fatigue begins to take its toll on players and the all important question of squad rotation and management comes to the forefront. In the last 3 weeks, Bayern have played a game every 3 days between the Bundesliga, Champions League, and the Pokal. With the international break and 2 World Cup qualifiers looming in the next 2 weeks, many of Bayern's players will not be rested going into the early April's fixture congestion again. Heading into the start of April, Bayern will play 7 games in the first 21 days over 3 competitions.
However, one of these competitions is almost in the bag, as the Bundesliga magic number sits at 7.
7 points either won by Bayern or lost by Dortmund. Theoretically, by this time tomorrow Bayern could 1 point away from clinching the Bundesliga title.
The importance of this cannot be understated as this underscores the fact that the rest of this season, starting in April, should absolutely be focused on the development of both Xherdan Shaqiri and Emre Can along with handing Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos the keys. As Phil has enumerated,
The question then becomes, whats worth more to Bayern and its fans as we have the opportunity to set records in most games won, most clean sheets, as well as lowest goals allowed in a single Bundesliga campaign. Should we potentially forego these goals and focus on the first team development of some of the best young talent in Europe or take a stab at setting nigh unapproachable Bundelsiga records?