Juventus
    14.12.2015 15:00 - in: Champions League S

    Bayern Munich under the microscope

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    With the Bianconeri set to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League last 16, Juventus.com takes a close look at the Bavarians’ rich past and present
    Established in Europe

    Undisputed European heavyweights, Bayern Munich have conquered the continent five times in their history. Following a trio of consecutive triumphs between 1974 and 1976, the Bavarians went 25 years without lifting the trophy, which they finally regained in 2001, defeating Valencia on penalties. 

    The club has performed in the competition with great consistency in recent years, reaching the semi-finals or better in five of the last six editions. After losing twice at the final hurdle against Inter and Chelsea in 2010 and 2012 respectively, they got their hands on the cup for a fifth occasion in 2013 by beating Borussia Dortmund in an all-German showpiece at Wembley Stadium.

    Since then, they have bowed out at the last four stage to Spanish opposition and eventual winners in two successive seasons, losing to Real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona in 2015.

    When Bianconeri meet Bayern

    A look back in time shows that there’s very little separating Juventus and Bayern, the former winning three and the latter four of their previous eight Champions League clashes. The Bavarians, however, have enjoyed the upper hand in recent years, winning four of their last six meetings.

    David Trezeguet nets a brace in Juve's 2-1 win over Bayern in November 2005.
    Pavel Nedved is the match-winner against the Bavarians in October 2004.

    This is only the second occasion that the two sides have faced one another in the competition’s knockout stages. The last time saw the Germans emerge victorious over a two-legged quarter-final in 2013.

    Group stage highlights

    Pep Guardiola’s men enter the round of 16 in fine form having won five of their six group games, their only defeat coming at the hands of current Premier League leaders Arsenal back in October.

    That 2-0 loss in London aside, Bayern were in unforgiving mood en route to reaching the knockout stages, putting 19 goals past their opponents (among whom featured Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb in addition to the Gunners), a joint-high for the campaign shared with Real Madrid, the Spaniards’ tally given a serious boost by their 8-0 demolition of Malmo on Matchday 6.

    Men of the moment

    Robert Lewandowski has understandably stolen the headlines during his side’s convincing qualification from Group F after netting seven times in six group games, putting him behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (11) in this year’s Champions League scoring charts. Even more impressively, all of the Pole’s goals have come from open play.

    Two strikes behind Lewandowski is Thomas Muller (five), who, following November’s 4-0 victory over Olympiacos, also became the youngest player to record 50 wins in the competition at the age of 26 years and 72 days. Lionel Messi was 14 months Muller’s senior at the time he managed to reach the same landmark.

    Case of the ex

    Juventus vs. Bayern pits Mario Mandzukic and Arturo Vidal against their former clubs, while Kingsley Coman gets set to face the Bianconeri for the first time since moving on loan to the Allianz Arena in the summer.

    Needless to say, all three players have been a success so far in their new environments. After scoring on Sunday against Fiorentina, Mandzukic has seven goals to his name in all competitions this term and every time he has found the target, his side have gone on to take maximum points.

    The Croatian forward now has the chance to score for the second occasion in this fixture after finding the target in Bayern’s quarter-final win at Juventus Stadium back in April 2013.

    Over in Munich, Vidal has been virtually an ever-present in midfield, netting twice and turning provider on four occasions in the Bundesliga, while Coman has enjoyed a fine campaign so far both domestically (three goals, two assists) and abroad (one goal and five assists).

    Business as usual in the Bundesliga

    Guardiola’s charges have been just as ruthless in the Bundesliga this term, winning 14 of their opening 16 fixtures to sit five points clear of second-placed Dortmund. A phenomenal run of 10 straight successes at the start of the campaign threatened to put the Bavarians completely out of sight and, in all truth, they remain the runaway favourites to retain their domestic title for a fourth consecutive season despite defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on 5 December.

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