The Champions League is back underway and Bayern Munich is assuredly looking to improve upon their fortunes in the competition last season, having been underwhelmingly eliminated by Villarreal in the quarter-finals. Despite securing another Bundesliga title, for the second straight season, Bayern fell short in both the Champions League and DFB-Pokal, but Julian Nagelsmann looks to be dealing with a much-improved squad that has started the season on a positive note.
Group C, which is comprised of Bayern, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Viktoria Plzen, has been dubbed the so-called “group of death,” partially because of the fact that one of Bayern, Inter or Barcelona won’t make it to the knockout stages. With the way the season has started, Bayern is odds-on favorite to win the group en route to the round of 16, but that’s, of course, easier said than done from the spectator’s view.
As far as the competition as a whole, Lothar Matthäus said that there’s three clubs that he really sees as the biggest threat to Bayern in terms of both the group and knockout stages. At the same time, he does feel that Bayern is, in fact, one of the favorites to make it to the final in Istanbul and win it. “Bayern are one of the three top favorites. The top favorites, maybe they don’t want to hear that. They have a top squad, but now they’ve also seen that things aren’t going the way they would like, even if they are always dominant,” Matthäus explained (Az).
He went on to say that Paris Saint-Germain “could be a stumbling block.” “Then you have a strong Real Madrid,” adding, “Barcelona are also on the up again under Xavi and Robert Lewandowski scores there too.” For Madrid, specifically, Matthäus admitted that he didn’t peg Los Blancos to be a title favorite last season, but despite being outplayed for large portions by Liverpool in the final in Paris, they lifted the trophy for the 14th time. “I didn’t have them on my list last season, because I thought they were outdated. But now you’ve seen: Wow, four or five grenades are coming off the bench, they have speed and greed, there is more future-oriented planning,” he explained.