Bayern Munich takes on a Benfica side on home turf in this Champions League quarter-final fixture. The Bavarians will be happy to have avoided taking on fellow giants of European football and instead take on Benfica who have reached this stage of the European competition since 2012. Both teams are on top of the league table in their respective countries and it will a fixture to look forward to considering the recent form of both teams.
Bayern has won 4 out of their last 5 games with the exception of a draw in the most recent fixture against fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund. Their performance has been dominating up until this point of the season and they would want to continue with this form against the Portuguese giants. Benfica too has held their own this season, winning their last 5 games and will be keen to prove that they are no pushovers and that they deserve to be in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Bayern has many match winners in its squad with the likes of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, captain Philip Lahm and midfielder David Alaba who has evolved considerably as a player. However, the most dangerous player for the Bavarians is talisman Robert Lewandowski who has netted 8 goals in as many games in the Champions League and will want to carry forward this form against Benfica. The Benfica centre-back pairing of Luisao and Jardel thus have a monumental task cut out for them and will have to bring all the experience which they possess to stop the rampaging forward.
Benfica is capable of holding their own and possess match-winners in the squad with the likes of 18-year-old Renato Sanchez in midfield. He has shown maturity at a young age and has already become an integral part of this squad. Brazilian striker Jonas too has been in great goalscoring form, already scoring 30 goals this season in all competitions. Coach Rui Vitoria will be expecting a big performance from his experienced forward in this monumental fixture against arguably one of the best teams in Europe. Fellow Brazilian Julio Cesar in goal too has a huge task of keeping his side in the game and he would expectedly be facing a barrage of shots from the German giants.
Bayern manager, Pep Guardiola will be wanting to leave on a high note after announcing his departure to Manchester City. Winning the Champions League would definitely be on his wish list after being lucky to avoid the better European teams at this stage of the competition. Benfica would want to spoil the party for Bayern by pulling off a huge upset by at least securing a point in this away fixture and will be looking to progress to the semi-final for the first time since the 1960’s. Bayern definitely looks stronger on paper but Benfica possesses the capability to hold off the Bavarian giants.