Celtic vs Bayern – Tuesday, October 31, 19:45 GMT/20:45 CET at Celtic Park, Glasgow.
Bayern were the big winners of the DFB Pokal second round and matchday ten encounters against RB Leipzig. Germany’s record champion eliminated Leipzig after penalties on Wednesday and then defeated Germany’s up and coming side 2-0 at home at the Allianz Arena on Saturday night in the top match. In both games Bayern benefitted from a Leipzig dismissal, but whereas the red card on Wednesday against Naby Keïta was somewhat soft, the red card against Will Orban seemed justified.
Thanks to Borussia Dortmund’s surprising 4-2 defeat to Hannover 96 Bayern have now retaken first place in the Bundesliga and will travel to Scotland with the confidence that they could pretty much secure second place in Group B of the UEFA Champions League. At this point, it even hard to believe that Bayern ever had any crisis this season as new/old head coach Jupp Heynckes has installed the sort of confidence in the side that have made Bayern unstoppable four years ago when der Rekordmeister won the treble.
At the same time, there are signs that Bayern are vulnerable. Leipzig were the first side that were actually to challenge Bayern since Heynckes has taken over and it would have been interesting to see how the games would have panned out without the red cards. Furthermore, Bayern are suffering from the injury bug at the moment. Going into the games against Leipzig Bayern was already missing Manuel Neuer, Frank Ribéry and Thomas Müller. Kingsley Coman walked off with an injury on Wednesday, and Robert Lewandowski had to be substituted before halftime on Saturday with what looked like a muscle injury. The Polish striker could be missing the match, and without a clear backup for Lewandowski in the squad, Heynckes could elect to play Thiago in a false nine role up front.
Even without those stars, Bayern should have enough to beat Celtic. But Celtic Park is one of the most difficult away stadiums to play at in Europe and Bayern will have to be at their best should they want to continue their impressive form since Heynckes has taken over from Carlo Ancelotti.
Celtic vs Bayern – Player to look out for:
Moussa Dembélé #10 – Celtic FC
Hyped as the biggest talent to have played for Celtic in quite some time Moussa Dembélé had a tough start to the season thanks to an injury. Although rested on Saturday in Celtic’s 1-0 victory against Dundee FC Dembélé has slowly been eased back into the squad by Brendan Rodgers. Given the fact that Dembélé was rested this weekend it is likely that the 21-year-old forward will start against Bayern München on Wednesday. A fast and dynamic ahead he will be perfect in Celtic’s attempt to hit Bayern on the counter-attack.
James Rodríguez #11 – Bayern München
James Rodríguez finally showed his worth to Bayern München in der Rekordmeister’s 2-0 victory over RB Leipzig on Saturday. The Colombian played the full 90 minutes and was one of the best players on the pitch. Nominated to play on the left-wing where he replaced the injured Frank Ribéry, Kingsley Coman or Thomas Müller, who could all play at that position, James often switched positions with playmaker Thiago. The two created an effective one-two punch and it would be surprising should head coach Jupp Heynckes elect to leave James out against Celtic.
Celtic vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- The sides’ only past fixtures came in the 2003-04 group stage when Bayern picked up four points from their two games against Celtic.
- Bayern’s 3-0 home victory against Celtic was the first game against a Scottish club since a 5-1 win at home to Aberdeen FC in the 2007-08 UEFA Cup round of 32-second leg (7-3 aggregate).
- The defeat to Mönchengladbach last season left Celtic with the record W3 D2 L5 at home to Bundesliga sides. They have lost the last two.
- In 2016-17 Celtic came fourth in their section, taking three points from six games. They suffered a record 7-0 loss at Barcelona but drew 1-1 at both Borussia Mönchengladbach and Manchester City.
- The Scottish champions are on an eight-game winless run, home and away, against German clubs (D3 L5). Paul Lambert, Shaun Maloney and Stiliyan Petrov scored when Celtic last overcame German opposition – winning 3-1 at home to VfB Stuttgart in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup fourth round.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Celtic vs Bayern 0-2
Celtic vs Bayern – Possible Lineups
Gordon – Tierney, Boyata, Bitton, Lustig – Brown, Ntcham – Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair – Dembélé
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Ulreich – Rafinha, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Tolisso, Javi Martínez – Robben, James, Coman – Thiago
Manager: Jupp Heynckes
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.