clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid: Q&A with an Atletico expert ahead of the Champions League semi-finals

Get to know all about Antoine Griezmann and how Diego Godin's absence will impact Atletico Madrid in our Q&A with Robbie Dunne of Into the Calderon

Real CD Espanyol v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

The Champions League semi-finals and Spanish opposition have been the bane of Pep Guardiola's tenure at Bayern Munich. Losing to Real Madrid in 2015 and to Barcelona last season, it is only fitting that in his final season at the helm of Bayern Pep Guardiola will see Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid barring the path to the Champions League final.

Helping us to get a little better acquainted with the Simeone's impressive team is Robbie Dunne, our colleague over at SBNation's Atletico Madrid blog, Into the Calderon.

Antoine Griezmann is one of the best players in the world right now. How can Bayern Munich neutralize the threat he poses?

Robbie Dunne: Griezmann offers plenty and in various situations of the game. He can be lethal on the break when Atletico sit back, which you would imagine they will, and his ability to play in tight spaces is another one of his better attributes. In order to neutralise what he is able to do, Bayern will have to ensure there is cover at left-back at all times. If they give the ball away high up the field and Koke can pick him out, his control and speed will hurt Bayern.

Diego Godin has long seemed to be the rock at the back for Atletico. How will his absence shift Simeone's approach to this match?

Robbie Dunne: Godin is one of the best defenders in the world. The reason Toby Alderweireld left the club was because he knew that he would not be able to take either Miranda or Godin's place. He has gone on to become one of the best defenders in the Premier League and it just goes to show how good that back four, particularly Godin, are.

Godin was excellent last year because he was doing everything. He was covering for Atletico's left-backs and also trying to mind his own space. With the emergence of Lucas Hernandez, Jose Gimenez and the solid form of Stefan Savic along with Filipe Luis rediscovering his best form, you would hope that Godin's absence would be minimized. He will possibly play Gabi and Augusto closer to the back four to reduce the space Bayern, Lewandowski in particular, have to work in.

Atletico Madrid has demonstrated immense skill against teams that focus on possession. What do Bayern Munich need to be the most cautious of?

Robbie Dunne: In most recent weeks, it has to be said that Atletico's most dangerous player has been Koke. If you can cut off his influence, Atletico will struggle all over the pitch. They won't hold possession up the field for as long, they won't trouble Neuer and they will rely solely on Griezmann for a moment of magic to give them the edge.

Another thing Bayern have to be cautious of is approaching the game with just one game plan. Any time Barcelona, who you could compare to Bayern easiest, have beaten Atletico, it has been because they approached the game with no dynamism in their attack. Relying on wing play can be pointless against Atletico because they will beat you up in the air over the course of a game. Bayern need a plan A, B and C and they need to be careful not to arrive at the Calderon with a singular plan to beat them.

When are you going to sell Koke for an outrageous amount of money? Asking for a friend.

Robbie Dunne: Koke goes under the radar slightly. He might not start for Spain in the Euros but has been excellent for Atletico in the last few weeks. He is not going anywhere until Simeone goes so you'll have to tell your friend to ask Cholo when he is leaving!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bavarian Football Works Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Bayern Munich news from Bavarian Football Works