Bayern Munich v Chelsea: Serge to help Bayern surge

Bayern Munich are in command of their Champions League tie with Chelsea, and our Bundesliga expert Kevin Hatchard says it will stay that way.

Bayern Munich v Chelsea
Saturday 10 August, 20:00
Live on BT Sport

Rested Bayern ready to charge

Having finished the domestic season with the Bundesliga shield and the DFB Cup in their grasp, after a run of 17 straight victories in all competitions, Bayern Munich are ready to try and emulate their treble-winning season of 2013. That season, the Bavarian giants were helped by the quiet authority of coach Jupp Heynckes, and their current boss Hansi Flick has striking similarities.

Flick seems to have united a squad that can be demanding and strident, and his tactical changes in and out of possession have yielded significant dividends. Bayern dropped just two points in the Bundesliga in 2020, and amongst their final seven games of the league campaign were wins over Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach. They then beat Leverkusen again in the DFB Cup final.

There have been numerous heroes. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looks back to his impenetrable best, David Alaba has enjoyed an unfamiliar role at centre-back, Alphonso Davies has been a revelation at left-back, Thomas Müller racked up a single-season record of 21 league assists, and Robert Lewandowski has just had his best-ever season, with 34 Bundesliga goals.

Bayern have been dealt a blow, with reliable right-back Benjamin Pavard ruled out for the whole tournament with injury. It appears Joshua Kimmich will be moved from midfield to replace him, with Thiago coming in alongside Leon Goretzka at the heart of the team.

Chastened Chelsea battered and bruised

If anyone was in any doubt as to how much Frank Lampard wanted to win the FA Cup as Chelsea manager, they only had to watch his post-match interviews. Although he was doubtless annoyed by the sub-par performance of referee Anthony Taylor, he refused to use that as an excuse for his side's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at Wembley. Instead, he accused his players of sloppiness, of playing too slowly after a bright start. Fate also played its part, as skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and chief attacking threat Christian Pulisic were struck down by injury and removed from the fray.

Both players have missed this trip to Munich for what is surely the final step of a long season. Jorginho and Marco Alonso are suspended, and N'Golo Kante has only just returned to fitness after injury. Pedro, Billy Gilmour and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also on the sidelines. Emerson is likely to deputise for Alonso at left wing-back, Andreas Christensen is the obvious choice to replace Azpilicueta, and if Kante starts he will partner Mateo Kovacic in central midfield.

Chelsea's form away from home has been hit-and-miss in recent weeks. Including their Wembley defeat to Arsenal, the Blues have lost four of their last six matches outside Stamford Bridge. They have conceded at least twice in five of those games. They have kept just two clean sheets in their last 20 away matches.

Bayern to win exciting clash

Chelsea have no choice but to go for it, and they are a front-foot side anyway. 15 of the Blues' last 20 matches in all competitions have featured at least three goals. Eight of Bayern's last ten games have seen an Over 2.5 Goals bet land, and they scored 30 goals across those ten outings.

Against a tired and depleted Chelsea, I think Bayern win will an entertaining clash, so I'll back Bayern/Over 2.5 Goals on the Exchange at 1.80.

If you just want to concentrate on the goals markets, you could do worse than back Over 3.5 Goals at 2.18 - six of Bayern's last ten games have seen that bet prove successful.

Gnabry to strike again?

Serge Gnabry caused Chelsea so many problems in the first leg, scoring twice at Stamford Bridge. He found the net in the DFB Cup final against Bayer Leverkusen, he got the winner in a recent friendly against Marseille and he has scored 25 goals for club and country. At 1.98, I think Gnabry is worth backing to score.

You can back Robert Lewandowski to score two goals or more at 21/10 on the Sportsbook - he has scored multiple goals in 14 different matches for Bayern and Poland this season.

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