Of all of the games that Bayern Munich has played this season, this fixture against Tottenham Hotspur will likely prove to be the most telling. On paper, both teams have a lot of quality up-and-down the roster, but the Bavarians might actually be deeper and have more overall high-end talent than the Spurs.
For Bayern Munich to win, it will have to expose Tottenham Hotspur’s weakness at fullback by creating offense from the flanks. With Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry able to apply pressure on a nearly any outside defender, this should be one of the easier areas on the pitch for Bayern Munich to dominate.
From there, Robert Lewandowski is going to have to prove why some consider him the best No.9 in the world. These are exactly the kind of games where Lewandowski has drawn (mostly unwarranted) criticism in the past, but is still a stage where the Polish Hitman needs to establish himself nonetheless. How Lewandowski works with his wings (who have not always been the most prone to cross the ball or look for Lewandowski centrally) and Philippe Coutinho (which can sometimes get trigger happy at the expense of better opportunities) will be absolutely vital to Bayern Munich’s effort.
On the flip side, Bayern Munich is going to have to find away to fend off Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Heung-Min Son, who can all create a lot of issues for a Bavarian defense, which has not exactly been mistake-free to this point in the season. Under duress — which has not happened to often so far — Bayern Munich’s has scuffled at times. A big part of how Bayern Munich’s back-four functions today will depend on who Niko Kovac deploys. With Lucas Hernandez seemingly less-than-100%, it would be a natural move to slide Benjamin Pavard to center-back and move Joshua Kimmich back to right-back, so that duo can team with Niklas Süle and David Alaba in a formidable quartet.
Kovac, however, could waver if left to his own devices and roll out Jerome Boateng, who has been good this season, but might struggle against a team like Tottenham Hotspur. Regardless, Kovac might need to bolster the defensive midfield slot in front of his back-four, by dusting off Javi Martinez. Frankly, Thiago Alcantara has not earned his status as a “must-start” player so far this season, partly because he has not been in tune with his defensive responsibilities. Given Kimmich’s struggles defending centrally, Leon Goretzka being out injured, Corentin Tolisso not being sharp, and Michaël Cuisance not particularly ready for prime time, Kovac’s messaging to his team had better be clear on what he expects defensively from his midfield group in what we expect to be a 4-2-3-1 formation.
It will not be easy, but the advantage that Bayern Munich has in overall talent and the specific match-ups on the outside should be the difference in helping Die Roten capture a win.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1
Many BVB fans expect Jadon Sancho (19, contract until 2022) to leave Dortmund next summer. Rightly so? “No decision has yet been made”, sports director Michael Zorc emphasises in the kicker interview. “You don’t have to be a prophet to say that Jadon will certainly not play here for another five years. But he knows very well that he has taken this positive development at Borussia Dortmund. I doubt that this would have been possible with top English clubs. We trust the players very early, we’re not afraid to let them play. He acknowledges that.” But the “absolute big clubs” are of course “not blind” Zorc knows.
There is seemingly no doubt that Dortmund is selling Sancho off next summer and by that time, Manchester United will be in completely in the throws of desperation.
Mesut Ozil does not seem to be in the future plans for Arsenal, but would be accept a loan this winter?
Unhappy with his Arsenal stay right now, since not being a cornerstone by Gunners boss, Unai Emery, former German international attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil, (turning 31 on October 15), according to The Sun, might be leaving Emirates Stadium in January, even on a loan spell. PL giants long-time player was approached by both Inter Milan and Fenerbahçe during last summer.
Ozil is another player in a tough spot at his current club. He’s certainly still good enough to play for a good club somewhere, but his wages and his geographic preferences might limit options for him.
There are some terrific social media accounts in sports and Bayern Munich’s are right there among them. As our sister site Chiesa Di Totti covered, however, the AS Roma social media account is going above and beyond the call of duty in a lot of ways:
However, for all of the comic relief that Roma admin has provided us, it’s far from their most important work. Beginning this summer, Roma’s Twitter kicked things up to a new level; a more serious one with a greater cause than giving us a good chuckle.
A fourth missing child has been found! #ASRoma have today been informed by @missingchild_ke that an 8-year-old Kenyan girl featured in the @ChrisSmalling transfer announcement video has been found safe.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 17, 2019
On Sunday, another Kenyan child, a 13-year-old boy was also found safe pic.twitter.com/CnQOmkuhEU
Whoever thought of this campaign deserves a standing ovation. Incoming transfers always draw plenty of attention. And not for nothing, Roma made plenty of them this summer. At some point someone had the innovative idea of using Roma’s transfer announcements to also promote a missing child campaign.
Two things that normally would have no business being mentioned in the same sentence became synonymous on Roma’s Twitter this summer. And, believe it or not, it worked; pretty darn well, at that.
This is just a small sampling of the post, but I encourage you to check it out in its entirety.
Asked about 20-year old attacking midfielder Kai Havertz, linked, among other destinations, to a future Juventus approach, Bianconeri boss, Maurizio Sarri, about to face Bayer Leverkusen in CL clash, stated: “He looks like he’s got the whole package, and that he’s gonna be among the great ones, around Europe. He’s got incredible skills.”
Juventus, of course, is one of the teams linked with a move for Havertz. For giggles, here are some recent Havertz highlights:
Looking to get ready for Bayern Munich’s Champions League tilt against Tottenham Hotspur? Give our latest episode of Der Ausblick a listen!
It might not be his preferred destination of Manchester United, but could Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic be heading to England to team up with former Eintracht Frankfurt star Sebastien Haller at West Ham United?
While hoping in Manchester United return on his tracks, former Croatian international striker Mario Mandzukic (33), who might even get a fresh start at Juventus now, is reportedly still a target for West Ham. To date, “The Monster” is waiting for winter window to allow him making a change.
There seems to be at least some excitement within ESPN’s current soccer roster for the arrival of the Bundesliga:
Willkommen bei ESPN! Looking forward to covering a league that has been instrumental in the development of players around the world while having arguably top to bottom, the best stadium atmospheres in the world. https://t.co/8HXGplTYdf— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) September 30, 2019
It is no secret that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has aimed plenty of criticism at MLS, but would he really leave the LA Galaxy for Boca Juniors? The Argentinian clubs seems to think so:
Interviewed by Mundo Boca Radio, Jorge Anro, Xeneizes board of directors member, addressed with rumors having Argentinian giants keen on Swedish star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who’s about to turn 38, and due to leave Los Angeles Galaxy after 2019’s over, stated: “That’s true, Ibra wants to play for us. And the fact we can afford to bring him is true as well. Club’s going through a great time, finance-wise too, and we can aim to top-of-the-line commodities.”
Eintracht Frankfurt has lost goalkeeper Kevin Trapp for at least the rest of the calendar year due to a shoulder injury.