The Champions League resumed play this week with second-leg matches from the round of 16. Four teams have booked their spot in the quarterfinal, and four teams were sent home packing, as the remaining eight teams eagerly await their second leg matches, which will be played on March 14 and 15.
Now that we have a pretty clear picture of each team and how competitive they will be in the competition, there are a few teams that emerge as clear favorites to win the Champions League. However, there is no team better suited for a championship run than the Bavarians of Munich. Below I will highlight some of the reasons I believe Bayern Munich is the clear favorite and will win the Champions League.
Although this hasn’t been Bayern Munich’s most dominant season overall, they have been at their best during the Champions League. After finishing the group stage a perfect 6-0-0, the Bavarians followed this up with a dominant performance against French super-team Paris Saint-Germain in both legs of their round of 16 matchup, as they won on an aggregate score of 3-0.
However, they aren’t just winning games; they’re dominating them. Out of their eight total Champions League matches, Bayern kept a mind-blowing seven clean sheets. In fact, they’ve only conceded two goals in their 720 minutes of match-time, which is by far the fewest of any Champions League Team. This helped contribute to their Champions League, leading a +19 goal differential, as they’ve netted 21 goals.
World Class Squad
Before the group stage even started, it wouldn’t have been far-fetched to say that they were favorites because of the talent that their squad possesses. They have won the Bundesliga for the past decade, won the Champions League only three seasons ago, and have the third most valuable club in the world, valued at just over a billion dollars.
However, they’ve shattered all expectations and are the clear favorites to continue their dominance after a great showing in the round of 16. Led by veteran superstars Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and 20-year-old wonderboy Jamal Musiala, Munich easily has one of the best football cores in the world. Not to mention the addition of the 2022 Ballon D’or runner-up, winger Sadio Mane, who adds the cherry on top to an already overpowered squad.
I think something that is often overlooked in football is experience. Creating a repertoire and building chemistry amongst the members of any squad is vital to the success of the club. Bayern Munich is one team that has certainly created strong chemistry among its players.
Not only have many of Bayern’s players been together on the squad for a long time, but they also still have eleven members of the 2020 Champions League winning team from almost three years ago. Being able to maintain that much of your squad is quite difficult to do, and now they are certainly reaping the benefits.
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