Titleholders Bayern Munich face Atletico Madrid in what will be a battle of the giants, no better epitomised by the battle between the two forwards.
Robert Lewandowski will no doubt be looking to continue his rapturous form in the competition whilst old boy in a new town, Luis Suarez will want to make his mark for Diego Simeone’s Atletico.
Last year Lewandowski's Bayern obliterated Suarez's Barcelona, can the Uruguayan's new team do any better against the European champions?
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Lewandowski vs Suarez
Football is a relatively short career for most players, but age isn’t slowing down the star forwards of these two teams. Lewandowski, the 32-year-old Polish talisman is part of the ‘ageing like a fine wine’ group.
Bagging 15 goals which made him the Champions League top scorer last year, Lewandowski will want to keep up his form. He was a nightmare to defend against in the 2019-20 campaign and if nothing changes this year, he’s guaranteed to cause havoc.
With Suarez’s partner up front, Diego Costa out because of injury the onus will be on him to make life difficult for Manuel Neuer in front of goal. Before his move to Atletico, he scored five for Barcelona in the Champions League the season prior, including in that humbling at the hands of Bayern.
At the age of 33, he reached a personal milestone after netting his 150th La Liga goal against Celta Vigo over the weekend. He’s been a consistent performer at every club he’s been at and could provide the requisite firepower upfront for Atletico in this titanic clash.
Can Suarez help Simeone get back to former glories?
Diego Simeone will be looking to get his team back to their best as the momentum is teetering off in his ninth year and counting at the club. Atletico reached the quarter-final stage last season and were runners up in 2014 and 2016.
Suarez has been a real asset to the team since his departure from Barcelona, scoring three goals in four games. With the help of his creative team-mates Yanick Carrasco, Joao Felix and Angel Correa they have a team with the guaranteed artillery they need going forward to appease Simeone’s high pressing game preferences.
Image credit: Eurosport
A bonus with Suarez is that Atletico have brought in a person who is going to put in the work, no matter how tough the game might be. Simeone will want hard-working players in his side, who can allow the opposition to have the ball but hit them on the counter. Which might just be the case again Flick’s Bayern.
The start of something special for Bayern?
Bayern looked to have cruised through their Champions League campaign last year. They won all 11 games and scored a mammoth 43 goals. Their squad look strong and don’t look to be affected by the outgoing players over the transfer window like Thiago and the end of loanees, Coutinho and Perisic at the club.
Reinforcements coming in including the likes of Leroy Sane, Choupo -Moting and Douglas Costa will provide depth. The important word being depth, time and time again all the really good sides in football who are likely to fill up their trophy cabinet, in a blistering run have the option of some reliable and game-changing players on the bench.