Bayern Munich vs. Viktoria Plzen – prediction, team news, lineups

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Michal Bilek’s side will be looking to pick up their first points of a challenging European campaign so far.

Match preview

Jamal Musiala celebrates scoring for Bayern Munich on September 30, 2022© Reuters

After an impressive 4-0 win in the league on Friday night, where their struggles have been this season so far, Bayern return to the comfortable territory of the Champions League group stage where they have picked up impressive victories against Inter Milan and Barcelona and have yet to concede a goal.

Leroy Sane has scored in both group games so far and will be looking to continue his eye-catching start to this season after two years at Bayern where he has struggled to always show the kind of form many were expecting after his performances at Manchester City.

With back-to-back games against Plzen in the competition, The Bavarians can pretty much wrap up qualification for the knockout stages, which will not only take the pressure off two challenging games at the end of the group stage but will also allow a focus on the league, which may prove important as the schedule is very tight in the run-up to the World Cup.

Nagelsmann will most likely also have one eye on their upcoming league fixture against Borussia Dortmund and will be hoping his side can wrap up this game early, so he can make the most of the depth of their squad, resting key players before a crucial clash in the Bundesliga.

COVID cases in the Bayern Munich squad may be one concern that could hamper their preparation for this fixture and upcoming ones, after Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka tested positive last week and both Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich tested positive after the Bayer Leverkusen fixture on Friday.

Viktoria Plzen, who are unbeaten in their league campaign so far, have faced a different calibre of opponents in the Champions League, and the results of their fixtures have probably not surprised anyone.

Colombian midfielder Jhon Mosquera, who has featured in the forward line in European competition, will be the key man to look out for in the Czech team’s lineup, having scored five times in six starts from midfield so far this campaign, including in their last league fixture which was a 1-1 draw against Bohemians 1905 on Saturday.

After getting through two qualifying rounds and a playoff to get into the Champions League, Plzen may have been hoping for a more favourable draw which would have given them a potential chance of securing a third-place spot in the group and therefore a Europa League knockout round playoff spot but instead, they got drawn against three European giants.

Improvements were made between the first and second group game and they will be hoping to make another step forward in this game, after conceding five goals against Barcelona and two against Inter Milan.

Bayern, however, will be the most challenging opponent, given their recent performances in the Champions League.

Team News

Thomas Muller in action for Bayern Munich on September 30, 2022© Reuters

With positive COVID cases for both Muller and Kimmich, there will be a few changes to the Bayern Munich starting lineup for this one.

Marcel Sabitzer is likely to start in the deeper midfield as he did in their previous fixture, with Goretzka alongside him, after his recovery from COVID saw him make a substitute appearance on Friday.

The replacement for Muller is less clear, with summer signing Mathys Tel a potential option to lead the forward line but also an array of false nine options including Sadio Mane, Sane or the in-form Jamal Musiala.

Lucas HernandezKingsley Coman and Bouna Sarr will also miss out through injury for the hosts.

Viktoria Plzen will be without midfielder Pavel Bucha as he was sent off in their previous Champions League fixture against Inter Milan, with Ales Cermak or Jan Kopic the most likely to come into the starting 11.

The three-at-the-back formation used against Inter Milan saw more success than the four-at-the-back formation when playing Barcelona, so it would be expected that the three would be preferable.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Davies, Upamecano, de Ligt, Pavard; Goretzka, Sabitzer, Sane, Musiala, Mane; Tel

Viktoria Plzen possible starting lineup:
Stanek; Jemelka, Hejda, Pernica; Havel, Cermak, Kalvach, Sykora, Vikanova; Chory, Mosquera

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