Partly because of the favorable group they’ve drawn, Lothar Matthaus believes that Bayern Munich are among the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League this season. In Group E alongside Benfica, Ajax, and AEK Athens, Bayern are the odds-on favorites to top the group and, at the very least, progress to the knockout stage of the competition.
Speaking to Sky Germany (via the Münchener Merkur) Lothar Matthaus said he expects six wins from Bayern during the group stage and also put Bayern on his short list of favorites to win the competition. Matthaus also stressed the importance that all Bundesliga clubs in the competition do well, as Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, and Hoffenheim are also in the Champions League this season:
I’m expecting six victories, with all due respect to the other teams. We have to watch out. Germany soccer has lost its luster. Now it’s the hour of truth. The German teams should be well aware that it is not just about their club interest, but also national interests.
Bayern start off their champions league campaign next week when they travel to the Estádio da Luz to take on Benfica in what will likely be their most difficult test in the group stage. Although they were rather disappointing last season, the Portuguese side have proven in the past that they’re no roll-over, and they’ll surely make life difficult for Bayern.
The same could be said about both Ajax and AEK Athens, but there’s absolutely no reason why Bayern shouldn’t be able to beat both of them, both home and away; the gap in depth of talent is quite large.