It looks like Bayern has finally found a sparring opponent: according to MediaSportif, Bayern Munich will play Olympique de Marseille at the Allianz Arena on the last day of July in preparation for the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie with Chelsea.
Marseille enjoyed a successful season in Ligue 1, finishing second and earning direct qualification to the group stages of next season’s Champions League.
As many know, Bayern have been looking for a team to spar against in order to get match-fit come the Chelsea game. RB Leipzig was initially seen as a potential candidate, seeing as they would be preparing for the Champions League themselves. However, that did not come to fruition. Bayer Leverkusen were then seen as the most likely candidate up until a few days ago, when Die Werkself apparently rejected Bayern’s request for reasons unknown.
The one downside of playing Marseille is that they themselves will be even less match-ready than Bayern, having not played a competitive match since Ligue 1 was suspended in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since this match is more about getting Bayern up to strength rather than testing tactics, the quality of the opponent may not matter as much. Indeed, reports were circulating that Bayern would play an internal friendly, splitting the squad in two, should they fail to find an opponent in time.
Meanwhile, after a two-week vacation, the Bayern players all went through a Corona-test yesterday and will resume cyber-training over the next two days. From July 23 to 25th, they will train in small groups before resuming team training as a whole from the 26th.
Bayern currently hold a 3-0 aggregate lead over Chelsea after their victory at Stamford Bridge in February. However, the job is far from over yet. Let’s hope the team can get up to strength in time and book a flight to Lisbon!
Update: The game will take place at the Bayern Campus
According to both clubs’ official statements, the game will be played at the FC Bayern Campus, not the Allianz Arena as first reported.