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Bayern Munich Are Going To Be A Disastrous Draw For Whoever Lands Them

Bayern Munich finished behind Atletico Madrid in the group stage, guaranteeing a nightmarish draw for one of the group winners.

We’re one final match day away from wrapping up the Champions League group stage, but we can already draw a number of conclusions based on Tuesday’s play. For one, whoever draws group runners-up Bayern Munich in the round of 16 has every reason to feel extremely aggrieved.

By virtue of finishing behind Atletico, Bayern could conceivably be drawn against the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus, Leicester City or Borussia Dortmund/Real Madrid (the battle between Dortmund and Madrid in Group F will be settled tomorrow).

While other second-place finishers include Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla, Munich appear to be the most frighteningly complete prospect to have not clinched first.

Like PSG, Munich are experiencing something of a blip domestically (by virtue of not having a commanding lead at the top of the table, such are their standards), but they trail RB Leipzig by only three points. Their shock defeat to Rostov notwithstanding, this Carlo Ancelotti led version of the team still has all the potency you’d expect from a club that’s made five successive European semifinals.

 

Yes, Atletico Madrid had nothing to play for in this match. Yes, Atletico getting absolutely dominated statistically is nothing new (they actually prefer it that way), but Diego Simeone still named a strong squad embedded with the mentality that's made them popular favorites for this year’s title.

But a team with the likes of Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels in defense, Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara in midfield, and Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben in attack are always, by virtue, world-beaters.

According to Opta, Munich held almost 71% of possession throughout the match, completing 737 passes compared to 253 from Atletico. In the attacking third, where the numbers typically tend to more equally reflect Atletico’s style, Bayern still managed to out pass their opponents 209-93. 

Bayern outshot Atletico 15-5, but it was a gloriously struck free kick from Lewandowski that proved to be the difference. 

Being under the radar, so to speak, should perfectly suit Bayern this season. Following their 2012-13 triumph, the hype surrounding Guardiola’s attempts to win the trophy in the following three seasons made them the focal point of the competition.

While the round of 16 is the next objective on Munich’s European checklist, and our deepest sympathies to whoever lands them on December 12, a sixth European title is not beyond this current group of players.

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