When Bayern Munich and Benfica square off in a Champions League contest on Tuesday at the Allianz Arena, the Bavarians will be favored — there is no doubt about that.
Among the deepest, most talented teams in the world, Bayern Munich has had few missteps this season. Still, Benfica represents a significant challenge. The Portuguese side is experienced and proud. For the majority of the last match, Benfica hung tough against Bayern Munich.
That contest, however, was before the Bavarians were blown out by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal last week. All of sudden, Bayern Munich looked vulnerable — even temporarily.
Bayern Munich did its best to dispel any thoughts that it might be susceptible to a slump by dumping Union Berlin 5-2 over the weekend, but Benfica represents another rugged challenge.
Will Bayern Munich come out and be the aggressive, creative team we saw against Union Berlin or will the team come out flat and with heavy legs like we saw against Gladbach?
The look and feel of this Bayern Munich squad tells us that Gladbach — a bogey team for Bayern Munich if there ever was one — was an anomaly, but Benfica will test that theory.
With nearly a full roster, the Bavarians should be raring to go. Moreover, Bayern Munich looks like it is likely to get Julian Nagelsmann back in time to manage the game.
Things are once again looking good for Bayern Munich, even if Gladbach showed the world that taking down the big, red juggernaut from Bavaria can be done. Benfica will not go down easily though, and Bayern Munich will be in a position to prove its mettle once more as English teams expecting Champions League glory watch from afar.