Tag Archives: Joshua Kimmich

Champions League last 16 predictions: Lazio vs Bayern Munich

It’s Champions League time once again as the last 16 is back and the second round of fixtures commences.

Last week we saw the first eight teams compete, with some thrilling fixtures to take us through to the second leg and this week we’ll be hoping for more of the same as Serie A side Lazio take on current holders Bayern Munich.

Lazio currently sit in fifth in the table, just one point behind third placed Roma and have prepared for this game with four wins in their last six games including a 1-0 win over Sampdoria at the weekend. Bayern on the other hand currently sit top of the Bundesliga and were crowned world champions earlier this month, but have failed to win either of their last two Bundesliga fixtures.

Bayern’s style of play is well documented with a high defensive line, combative and technical holding midfielders and pace in attack behind Robert Lewandowski.

SS Lazio v Brescia Calcio - Serie A : News Photo

Lazio’s style is a little different though, with Simone Inzaghi opting for three at the back and building the entire team around the finishing ability of Ciro Immobile up front. The Italian striker has scored 19 goals so far this season after 39, 19, 41 and 26 in the previous four campaigns also – making him one of the most lethal attackers around.

The midfield of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto has creativity, steel and an eye for goal to it while Lucas Leiva’s inclusion in the holding role makes them tough to break down too.

Bayern have a few fitness problems right now, with Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Muller testing positive for COVID-19 while Douglas Costa, Serge Gnabry and Correntin Tolisso are all injured and out of the first leg. That means Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman are certain to start out wide but the formation could slightly change from their usual 4-2-3-1.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Tigres UANL - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 : News Photo

Despite the issues they have currently and the form they’re currently struggling in, I can’t see past Bayern Munich dominating the tie and progressing into the next round.

Defensively they’re strong enough to deal with the threat of Lazio and going forward they are still scoring goals freely. They’re still arguably the strongest team in the competition overall when everyone is fit and even if the injuries make the first leg tougher for them, the return leg is at home and they should have enough quality to progress into the last eight.

Lazio 1-2 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 3-0 Lazio
(Bayern Munich to progress 5-1 on aggregate)


Is Joshua Kimmich The Most Complete Footballer In The World Right Now?

Another win for Bayern Munich, another masterclass from that man Joshua Kimmich.

The German and European champions took all three points in a hard-fought win against Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday night, with Kimmich scoring a wonderful volley late on to win it.

Leon Goretzka had opened the scoring early in the first half with a header before Anton Miranchuk equalised with 20 minutes to go. But then Kimmich decided to settle the game himself, controlling a pass from Javi Martinez before swivelling and volleying the ball into the far bottom corner.

It was yet another example of the 25 year old’s talent and technique, which has seen him move from first-choice right-back to first-choice central-midfielder for Bayern Munich over the last 18 months.

Almost a carbon copy of German legend Phillip Lahm, his versatility and ability to be world class in several positions has seen him held in high acclaim across Europe. But one thing he has that Lahm never really did is goal involvement.

In 7 appearances so far this season, Kimmich has 3 goals and 3 assists. Last season Kimmich racked up a super impressive 11 assists and 4 goals in 44 games from defensive midfield and right-back including the assist for the winner in the Champions League final.

With Thiago now gone, he has taken up the role of chief creator from deeper in midfield and it is showing. With the skillset he has, he may well be the most complete footballer in the world today.

Defensively he can do everything that the best outright defenders in the world can do. He is quick, he is strong, he’s hard to beat one on one, he’s excellent in the air and he’s comfortable on the ball.

In his midfield role he wins duels, dictates the tempo of a game, breaks lines with his passing, is comfortable in tight spaces and is positionally excellent when without the ball. He has a true football brain and reads the game as if he’s a teenager with a J.K Rowling story in their hand.

In the final third he excels too with his superb ball striking technique, excellent crossing, ability to beat a man in a wide position, ability to disguise a pass, excellent weight of pass and above all exceptional decision making.

While it’s incredibly rare for a defensive player to ever be recognised as the best in the world, Kimmich has a genuine claim to the title. If not the best, then without a doubt the most well rounded and complete footballer on planet Earth.

With Bayern’s success showing no signs of slowing down at the moment, another campaign with the form he’s in may see Kimmich begin to get a semblance of the recognition he deserves as one of the best footballers around.

Paris Saint-Germain vs Bayern Munich – Match Preview

The longest season in recent memory finally comes to an end on Saturday night as Paris Saint-Germain take on Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon.

The two sides have progressed through to the final following big wins in the semi-final against nations from the opposition countries. PSG outclassed RB Leipzig thanks to goals from Marquinhos, Angel Di Maria and Juan Bernat while Bayern overcame a rough start against Lyon to also win 3-0, thanks to a Serge Gnabry brace and Robert Lewandowski’s 54th goal of the campaign.

While PSG were quite comfortable in their progression, Bayern had a few question marks early on in the game as Lyon could have quite conceivably been 2-0 up before Gnabry’s wondergoal in the 18th minute. The aggressive high-line that the German champions play was caught out by Memphis Depay and Karl Toko Ekambi, but both players missed golden opportunities to put Lyon ahead.

Once Gnabry found the back of the net, Bayern entered cruise control and saw the game out comfortably but the questions were immediate and loud. If Bayern allow that kind of chance against the quality of Neymar and Mbappe, would they still be able to get themselves back into the game?

Bayern Munich Training Session - UEFA Champions League : News Photo

In reality, the answer is probably no. PSG have conceded just 4 goals in the competition this season and while they’re much more renowned for their attacking abilities, defensively they have been solid throughout the competition.

Bayern have of course been free-scoring, hitting 7 past Tottenham in the group stages, 7 past Chelsea over their two-legged last 16 tie and 8 past Barcelona in their one-legged quarter-final game. If anyone is going to be able to open up the Parisian defence, it’s Flick’s side who seem to be able to play any style of football necessary.

They control possession in the majority of their games and can unlock low blocks, however we’ve seen them use Lewandowski as a traditional target man to bypass the opposition press and even sit in a bit deeper than usual to be able to launch counter-attacks. With the depth they have on the bench too, they’re always capable of switching the plan mid-game to adjust to their opposition.

PSG are likely to line-up with Marco Verratti and Keylor Navas back in the starting line-up, meaning they will be at full strength. Reports suggest that Kylian Mbappe will start as the centre-forward with Neymar and Di Maria on the wings, meaning Mauro Icardi will start on the bench. For Bayern Munich, they are expected to be unchanged once again. Jerome Boateng is a doubt after coming off against Lyon at half-time, but it’s expected he should be able to overcome his issue to start ahead of Nicklas Süle.


Looking at the performances of both sides, it’s hard to pick against Bayern Munich in this game. They’ve battered everyone and they seem to always have an extra gear to go up if they need it. Hansi Flick’s side are dominant on the ball and while they have had a few issues defensively, they are averaging four goals a game. But something tells me it’s PSG’s time.

With Neymar in sensational form and just missing a goal from his knockout stage performances, he’ll be fired up to take the crown as the world’s best player by delivering the trophy that PSG paid €222million for him to bring to Paris. Kylian Mbappe is already a World Cup final goalscorer and will want to add to that too, while Angel Di Maria and Keylor Navas have won the tournament before. Thiago Silva will be playing his final game for the club and will want to cap off his time as captain with the biggest trophy there is.

There is plenty of motivation for both sides but it just seems like it may be PSG’s time. Bayern have possibly peaked a little bit too early and if they adopt the aggressive high-line that they did against Chelsea, Barcelona and Lyon then they will be punished.

Neymar to score anytime (90 mins only) – 31/20 (888Bet)
PSG to win & both teams to score (90 mins only) – 7/2 (Bet365)
Leon Goretzka to be booked (90 mins only) – 9/2 (Bet365)

Bayern Munich The Team To Beat In Champions League

Another trip by a London team to the Allianz Arena, another dominant Bayern Munich win.

The German giants beat Chelsea 4-1 on the night in their Champions League Last 16 second leg to make it a 7-1 aggregate win and set up a quarter-final tie against Barcelona. A double from Robert Lewandowski had goals by Ivan Perisic and Correntin Tolisso sandwiched in between them to see of Frank Lampard’s side, with Tammy Abraham scoring a tap-in for the Blues.

The performance from Hansi Flick’s men showed what many knew once football returned post-lockdown – they are the team to beat.

Manuel Neuer is nowhere near his prime anymore, but he’s still among the better goalkeepers in Europe and his leadership and distribution are arguably more important than his shot-stopping abilities with the way Bayern play. David Alaba has moved back into central defence to allow young Canadian Alphonso Davies to continue his development at left-back. That game time has seen Davies turn into one of the best, most exciting attacking full-backs in Europe and he’s now the undisputed first choice in that position. Jerome Boateng and Nicklas Sule compete for the slot alongside Alaba, while Benjamin Pavard is the regular right-back.

In midfield, the strongest duo in the double pivot is Thiago and Joshua Kimmich. However the options to use Javi Martinez, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso mean their depth is insane while in attack Coutinho, Perisic, Gnabry and Coman all compete to partner Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

With the Polish striker currently on 54 goals in 45 games, he is in the best goalscoring form of his career. Had the Ballon D’Or not been cancelled by France Football, Lewandowski would definitely be at the head of the queue to receive the biggest individual award in the game.

The fluidity the side play with, along with their ability to play in multiple styles without changing the personnel on the pitch gives them a huge advantage over most sides in the competition.

They have got arguably the toughest run to a final having beaten Chelsea already, they could now face Barcelona, Manchester City and either Atletico Madrid or PSG en route to winning the trophy. The fact games are now one-legged from this point on is a help to them because of the depth they have. The Bavarians are good enough and will want to add a third trophy to their season after the Bundesliga title and German Cup wins.

If anyone wants to win this Champions League trophy this season, I’d be willing to bet big money on them having to beat Bayern Munich on the way.