When these two teams last met, an incredible performance from Manuel Neuer was the only thing that kept the Dutchmen from running riot. Now, Ajax stand in the way of the Bavarians and a spot at the top of the group.
Niko Kovac isn’t going to pull his punches for this one. Even though Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, and Arjen Robben are all injured, we likely wouldn’t have seen them play anyway. The coach has said that he intends to field the exact same lineup as the one that beat Bremen and Nurnberg, with maybe a change or two here and there. The changes could mean that Kingsley Coman or Thiago Alcantara get to play, but don’t expect stalwarts like Thomas Muller or Robert Lewandowski to ride the bench.
This game is important for Bayern, in more ways than one. Since Benfica, the criticism has been that Bayern’s newfound form has coincided with a run of easy games against weak teams. If Niko Kovac can pull off a result against Ajax, those criticisms will disappear. However, if he fails, then it’s likely that talks of a crisis will once again return to the Bavarian capital. For the sake of the team, we hope that doesn’t come to pass.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Time: 9 pm local time, 3 pm EST
TV/streaming: Fubo.tv, Find Your Country
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