Only 90 minutes of no-nonsense football stand between FC Bayern and qualification for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, on Tuesday. The second leg against Zürich will be played out at 2:45PM Eastern (8:45 PM in Europe).
Setanta Sports has this game in Canada. Fox Soccer carries it in the USA.
Here is what to look for.
On the Zürich side
– Zürich has to fight, but it lost 0-2 against Neuchâtel Xamax in the Swiss league this weekend. After a difficult start of the season, they have little to grasp to find the strength needed.
– Think of it: club president Ancillo Canepa said he did not believe in beating Bayern.
– Ranks are still depleted. Alphonse and Margairaz remain injured. Béda is under suspension.
– Strategically, Zürich has to attack, which it hasn’t done at all so far. They will surely try it early on, which will expose them to a few deadly counters by a superior offense. A quick goal by Bayern and this playoff is very much over.
On the Bayern side
– Common sense, basically. FCB won the first match 2-0 at home and it would have to concede at least three goals to lose. Large possession numbers and competent buildups should be natural. They should go with more daring plays only after scoring a goal.
– Ivica Olic is not around, but for this game, it doesn’t matter. With the team in control of the proceedings, it would be a nice occasion to give Nils Petersen some playing time, which he didn’t have much so far this season.
– In case of danger, Heynckes could bring Toni Kroos in and move Thomas Müller to striker.
– Speaking of Toni Kroos, logic commands that putting all your best men on the pitch means Kroos on the bench and Müller at playmaker.
– Is there room for Danijel Pranjic in this team nowadays? He hasn’t impressed last season, he hasn’t played so far and he is not even on the trip to Zürich. It looks like only a string of injuries would give him any playing time.