The UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw for the 2022/23 season is now complete and Bayern Munich has been drawn to take on Inter Milan, FC Barcelona, and Viktoria Plzen in Group C. This group is quite arguable the competition’s “group of death” and is laden with subplots, most namely Robert Lewandowski squaring off against his old club at his new club.
While the group, on paper, might look difficult to get out off, Bayern’s flying start to the campaign should provide every bit of confidence moving forward as the start of the group stages for the Champions League loom on the horizon.
Following the results of the draw, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic offered his thoughts on Bayern’s group, knowing that most of their opponents have strengthened well during the summer transfer window. “We always want to compete at the top and of course we’ll try to win every game. It’s not an easy group. The teams have strengthened well. But we’re looking forward to it,” he said (via @iMiaSanMia on Twitter).
Of course, Bayern already has some history with both Barcelona and Inter Milan in the competition from recent season’s past, but not so much with Viktoria Plzen. It’s clear that both Barcelona and Inter are the odds-on favorites to give Bayern the most trouble in Group C, but Brazzo is also wary of the Czech outfit. “With Barcelona and Inter we’re already up against two tough teams. These are the teams you like to play against. Camp Nou is a great stadium and we’ve had big success there. I’m also looking forward to traveling to Italy. I’m very cautious regarding Viktoria Plzen. Of course we’re favourite, but it’s not easy. We’re looking forward to it. The boys will have to give their all in every game,” he explained.
For Barcelona, in particular, the recent history of the two sides squaring off is strongly in favor of Bayern. The famous 8-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2019/20 season and then the two group stage, 3-0 wins last season. A lot has changed since then and both sides have heavily invested in attacking reinforcements this summer, so Brazzo knows that it will be a high caliber encounter both times they meet this time around. “Only football writes such stories. We faced them last season too. Barcelona have strengthened well, they have a top team, including Lewy. It will be two very exciting games. We’re looking forward to it,” he commented.
Interested in more discussion about the group stage draw? Here is our podcast reacting to Bayern’s group, listen to it below or at this link.