Tag Archives: Robert Lewandowski

RB Salzburg vs Bayern Munich – Champions League Last 16 predictions

The Champions League last 16 fixtures are finally upon us after a two month break since the group stages.

One of the ties kicking off this week will see Austrian outfit RB Salzburg take on 2020 winners and German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Lets take a look at the tie in more detail and make our predictions to see who will progress into the last eight of Europe’s most prestigious cup competition.

Route to the last 16

Salzburg made it through to the knockout stages after making sure they took their opportunity to progress through the weakest group we’ve seen in a long time.

With three wins and one draw from their six group games, Salzburg found themselves finishing ahead of top seeds Sevilla and behind only Lille by one solitary point.

Bayern Munich made routine work of their group which included both Barcelona and Benfica too, winning six out of six games and conceding just three goals in the process.

They scored a competition high 22 goals in those games and have been marked as one of the favourites to win the whole thing again under Julien Nagelsmann.

Team news

The Austrian outfit will be without six regular first-teamers through injury for the game and that’s a huge blow to them.

Brenden Aaronson and Karim Adeyemi are the star attackers in the team and both are fit and expected to start, and they’re arguably coming up against Bayern at the perfect time.

The Germans are without Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka for the game and are coming off the back of a 4-2 thumping by Bochum at the weekend.

That means Theo Hernandez will likely keep his place at left-back, while Sven Ulreich will start in goal. Frenchman Corentin Tolisso should start in midfield alongside Joshua Kimmich, after Nagelsmann’s failed experiment of using a lone holding midfielder.

Karim Adeyemi of FC Salzburg reacts during the UEFA Champions League group G match between VfL Wolfsburg and RB Salzburg at Volkswagen Arena on...

Breakdown and Prediction

Salzburg usually use a 4-3-1-2 formation with a very narrow midfield and pace up front to try and cause damage to the opposition defence on the counter attack.

When they come up against Bayern Munich though, they will need to be at their absolute best and more to get something over two legs.

Bayern better them in quality all over the park and even without some first-choice players, they have more depth on their bench to choose from as well.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates during the UEFA Champions League group E football match between SL Benfica and FC Bayern Muenchen at...

Salzburg will give it a good try for sure and without Neuer between the sticks they might be able to snatch a goal, but I’d seriously consider finding a betting market that offers you odds on Robert Lewandowski to outscore Salzburg across the tie because it’s probably going to come in.

RB Salzburg 1-3 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 4-0 RB Salzburg
(Bayern Munich to qualify 7-1 on aggregate)


Lionel Messi wins record seventh Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time in his career, extending his record as the player to win it the most times.

The Argentine captain capped off a wonderful year for himself by pipping Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to the award, making him the first Ligue 1 player to win the honour since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991.

Messi had previously won each of his six awards with FC Barcelona, the club he played his entire career for before a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The award was met with a mixed response from fans, with many believing Bayern Munich and Poland striker Lewandowski deserved the honour.

But in the end, Messi’s victory in the Copa America and Copa Del Rey as well as finishing as the top goalscorer in both tournaments and La Liga was enough to secure him the record breaking achievement.

Lewandowski finished second while Chelsea’s Jorginho rounded off the podium in third, having helped his club win the Champions League and led Italy to winning Euro 2020 in the summer.

Karim Benzema finished fourth, while N’Golo Kante finished fifth. The Premier League continued to dominate the top ten as Cristiano Ronaldo finished sixth, Mohamed Salah finished seventh and Kevin De Bruyne finished eighth, while PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Gianluigi Donnarumma completed the top ten.

FIFA ensured that Lewandowski didn’t go home empty handed however, as the inaugral “Striker of the Year” award was given to the man who scored 64 goals in 54 games last season en route to yet another Bundesliga title.

Chelsea were crowned the inaugral “Club of the Year” winners, while Pedri was confirmed as the Kopa Trophy winner -given to the best Under-21 player in the world.

Messi’s victory moves him two clear of Ronaldo in the record hunt, as the Portuguese legend finished outside of the top three for the first time since 2010.

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)

FIFA Awards Leave Fans Scratching Their Heads

FIFA’s annual ‘The Best’ awards took place on Thursday night, with the winner of some awards leaving fans scratching their heads in confusion.

Robert Lewandowksi was rightly crowned as the winner of the Men’s ‘The Best’ award, given to the best male player in the world. The Polish striker scored and assisted a remarkable 72 goals in 2020 so far, miles ahead of the other finalists Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the manager category though, many fans were left stunned as it was announced that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was given the award for ‘Best Coach’.

In isolation it looks like a worthy winner, but considering he was up against Hansi Flick of Bayern Munich it becomes a bit of a weird decision.

Flick took over from Bayern Munich in November 2019 and has since won five trophies, including the UEFA Champions League and German Bundesliga. Bayern won every single game in the Champions League tournament last season, becoming the first team to do so.

In a stunning stat, Flick has actually won more trophies (5) than he has lost games (3) since taking over at the Allianz Arena.

Klopp’s Liverpool side have had a fantastic 2020 themselves, winning the FIFA World Club Cup back in January before lifting their first league title in 30 years in record breaking fashion. It just doesn’t quite stack up to the achievements of a Bayern Munich side who dominated everyone that stepped into their path in a crazy year of football.

While the Anfield man is undoubtedly the best manager in the world right now, he didn’t have the best 2020 of all the managers on the list and the award should have gone to Flick.

Elsewhere on the night, Heung-Min Son was the winner of the ‘Puskas Award’, given to the scorer of the best goal over a 12 month period.

The Tottenham winger scored a stunning solo goal against Burnley to win the award, but fans were left a bit confused as the goal was scored in December 2019.

The rules on this award clear this one up pretty quickly though. Since the award is handed out before 2020 is over and goals are nominated in advance of the ceremony, the cut off date is pulled back slightly.

In this case, any goal scored between last year’s cut off date and October 7th this year would have been eligible – so Son’s is in.

Another confusing one came as Manuel Neuer was named as FIFA goalkeeper of the year, but then wasn’t named in the FIFA team of the year ahead of Liverpool counterpart Alisson Becker.

Either goalkeeper winning the award would’ve been hard to argue with, but to win the award and then not be included in the team just makes very little sense when you consider the whole point of the awards on the night.

The full team of the year was hard to argue with though, as Liverpool and Bayern Munich dominated the team.

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.

Ballon D’Or 2020 Cancelled

France Football have announced that their prestigious Ballon D’Or award will not be handed out in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ballon D’Or is given to the best player in the world for the year and is voted for by players, managers and journalists. This will be the first time since 1956, the year it was founded, that there will be no Ballon D’Or winner.

Lionel Messi is the current record holder with 6 wins, while Cristiano Ronaldo is just behind him with 5. Neither of those however were really in the running this year.

Robert Lewandowksi was the front-runner for the award, with the Bayern Munich striker scoring 52 goals this season so far. He won the Bundesliga, German Cup and is the current top scorer in the Champions League too – with Bayern favourites to win the competition.

Lewandowski scored his 52nd goal of the season in the German Cup final win over Bayer Leverkusen

Other candidates included Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were also likely to be in the conversation following Liverpool’s triumphs in England.

The cancellation of the award raises eyebrows though, as all major competitions will have been completed barring France’s Ligue 1, which was cancelled in April due to the coronavirus. International tournaments Euro 2020, Copa America and the African Cup of Nations were all postponed too but they aren’t annual events and thus that shouldn’t matter too much for the award.

It’s a real shame that Lewandowski will likely miss out on the greatest individual award the sport can offer because of this, but his season hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans with social media overflowing with praise for the Polish striker in light of the news.

All eyes now head over to the 2021 award, where it will be interesting to see how it is judged and whether all performances and statistics are carried over and used in consideration when deciding who will be the next man crowned as the world’s best footballer.