Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Predictions
Last Time Out:
Chelsea defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0; Bayern Munich bested Bayer Leverkusen 4-2.
Bayern Munich routed Chelsea 3-0 on February 25 at Stamford Bridge in London.
About the Matchup:
This match appears to be nothing more than a speed bump for Bayern Munich on its march toward the Champions League crown, as the Bavarians took home three goals from the first meeting with Chelsea and have a seemingly invincible lead as the matchup shifts to Germany. In order to have even a hope of reaching the next round, Chelsea would have to win the match by at least three goals. The one hope the Blues have is that Bayern hasn't played a competitive match in more than a month and hasn't been tested since clinching the Bundesliga championship at the start of June, while Chelsea has been playing throughout July in the Premier League. But even with that rust, is there any chance that Chelsea can get the goals they need — and keep Bayern's brilliant attack off the scoresheet?
The Chelsea offense has been outstanding in most matches since the Premier League restarted. Only once in the past 15 games have Chelsea been shut out, and that's in large part because of Christian Pulisic earning a more substantial role and earning the trust of Frank Lampard. Unfortunately for the Blues, they will not have either Pulisic or ex-RB Leipzig scorer, Timo Werner, in the lineup. Pulisic picked up a hamstring injury in the FA Cup final, and he's unavailable for this contest. Werner is the new big signing for Chelsea, but because of the pandemic's contract situations, he will not be able to play for Chelsea until the start of next season. That's a relief for Bayern Munich, but with the likes of Willian and Olivier Giroud on the pitch, Chelsea certainly doesn't lack for ways to trouble the Bavarians' defense. The problem is Chelsea's own defense. The Blues managed one clean sheet away from Stamford Bridge all season, and giving up a goal to Bayern would all but end any hope the Blues have of springing the upset. Both teams have scored in four of Chelsea's past five trips away from Stamford Bridge, and the one exception came when Sheffield United blanked Chelsea 3-0 at Bramall Lane. In short, Chelsea probably needs four goals to have any hope of advancing.
Scouting Bayern Munich:
Even when it seems that Bayern has nothing to play for, the Bavarians are at their best. That was never more evident than on the final day of the Bundesliga when Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim found themselves in a dogfight for the last certain Europa League spot from the Bundesliga. All Wolfsburg needed was a win at home against a Bayern side that had nothing to play for, and the Wolves would have edged out Hoffenheim. Instead, Bayern blasted Wolfsburg 4-0 and allowed Hoffenheim to claim the spot. The point here is that even though Bayern has a 3-0 lead in the matchup and three away goals to boot, don't expect Hansi Flick's men to back off even slightly. Oddly, Bayern actually proved to be more vulnerable to a lapse on defense at home than on the road, as it shut out three of its final four opponents on the road, but managed just one shutout out of five home matches — and that one came against relegated Dusseldorf. Given that Chelsea has shown a penchant for finding the net, it wouldn't shock me at all to see the Blues get a goal here.
But one goal won't be nearly enough, not with Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller on the other end. There just wasn't anyone like Lewandowski in the world this year, as he scored 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches and has added another 11 in Champions League competition. If Chelsea had problems stopping the weak attack of Sheffield United, good luck keeping Lewandowski from finding the mesh.
Dan's Score Prediction:
As you might have guessed, I expect a fair amount of goals here. I can absolutely see Bayern hitting four or even five goals as Chelsea tries to push its way back into the battle. However, I think Bayern's a bit too rusty to put up quite that number. The Bavarians will have no problem getting a result, but I don't think four goals is quite in the cards. Instead, I'll back a comfortable 3-1 win for Bayern, which will still payout at +950.