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Preview: FC Bayern vs. Olympique Marseille

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In the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. FC Bayern will come in heavy favorites, carrying a 2-0 lead after the first leg and playing this one at home. Marseille needs a pair of goals just to draw level, and their need to press forward and take chances will give Bayern a chance to get shots on goal and go for the kill. Still, nothing is certain at this stage, and the dangers of injuries and suspensions also loom.

The Line-Up

Very tough questions here ... with the club playing twice a week for the entire month of April, fatigue is definitely going to start to be a factor. Plus, it would be helpful to avoid possible suspensions, with practically half the team a yellow card away from missing a match. At the same time, if we go with a complete B-team line-up, there's certainly a chance Marseille gets an early goal and suddenly makes it a live contest - keep in mind they tested Neuer a few times with quick runs forward last week. Add to this the fact that Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended, and this is a head-scratcher.

My guess - I usually get these totally wrong, but keep in mind I guessed that Pranjic would start this last weekend:


Ribery - Mueller - Robben

Kroos - Tymo

Alaba - Badstuber - Gustavo - Lahm


Gustavo at CB hasn't been utilized much this season, but Boateng would be the most irreplaceable in the next round if he were to pick up another yellow. Pranjic in midfield could also happen (with Kroos then getting a rest, or Mueller moving to the bench and Kroos sliding up). Or I could be overthinking it all, and we could go with the standard line-up (minus Bastian) and just try to be careful. We'll see.

The Opponent

Marseille hasn't been impressive recently, either in the first leg vs. us or in Ligue 1 play. But, again, they had one shot that hit the bar last time, and another that Neuer had to make a lunging save on, so they're not completely punchless. Steve Mandanda will be back in goal, but Soule Diawarra is still out, and Alou Diarra is suspended as well.

In the last leg, Marseille seemed to let Bayern control most of the possession and then look to counter-attack. With a 2-0 deficit, you have to think they'll need to be a little more aggressive here. If we could take advantage with some clever counter-attacking of our own, I'm cautiously hopeful that we can pick up a first half goal and put it away.

Final Notes

- Barca and Milan play at the same time - they'l level at 0-0. Real vs. APOEL and Chelsea vs. Benfica on Wednesday will finish off the quarter-finals.

- The last time we thought we had chance to pick up an easy CL win (first leg vs. Basel), we brought Emre Can up and had him on the bench. If we'd taken a lead in that one, he might even had a chance to see the pitch. It wouldn't be a massive surprise to see something similar in the second half like that - if not, perhaps at least Petersen or Usami.

- We had to make our first ban on the new site, and new members are now subject to a 1-day waiting period between signing up and first comment. But if you're a lurker who suddenly wants to make a comment, sign up and send me an e-mail directly at - provided you're not a lunatic, I'll approve you and you can get started right away. Thanks for reading.

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