Four talking points ahead of Bayern Munich v Celtic
Here’s a look at some of the big talking points ahead of the mouth-watering Champions League clash.
Which Celtic team will turn up this time?
Against Paris St Germain in their Group B opener, the Scottish champions were left looking like rabbits caught in the headlights as the big-spending French giants ran riot with a merciless 5-0 drubbing. But last time out against Anderlecht, Celtic were much more more like the classy outfit fans are used to seeing in domestic action under Brendan Rodgers. However, the Northern Irishman confessed after that 3-0 Brussels win that his side still looked “embarrassed” at times while dominating possession against continental opposition. Celtic, though, know they cannot afford to be shy when taking on Bayern.
Injury woes clear just in time for Hoops
Rodgers was left sweating last month when skipper Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong and Jozo Simunovic all suffered knocks which put their participation in this week’s showdown at the Allianz Arena in doubt. You only have to look at Scotland’s lifeless second-half display against Slovenia last week to see how important midfielders Brown and Armstrong have become to club and country, while defender Simunovic has developed into a dependable operator since moving to Glasgow two years ago. But the good news for the Celtic boss is that all three have now declared themselves fit to face Bayern in Bavaria. None of the trio were risked against Dundee at the weekend but should slot straight back in on Wednesday.
Will it be away-day blues once more for the green half of Glasgow?
Celtic’s victory over Anderlecht at the Constant Vanden Stock was a rare treat for the Parkhead faithful as they saw their team claim a Champions League win outside of Glasgow for only the second time. Of their 30 previous clashes played away from Celtic Park in Europe’s top club competition, they had managed just one win - their 2012 victory over Spartak Moscow - and three draws. However, claiming victory in Munich will be an altogether tougher task. Only two sides have left the Allianz Arena with a Champions League win in the past four years - big guns Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Can Jupp Heynckes restore Bayern’s swagger?
Carlo Ancelotti’s laid-back approach was not to everyone’s liking during the year and a bit he was in charge at Bayern.
It led to a fractious relationship with his squad and their 3-0 humbling by PSG last month proved to be a humiliation too far for the Munich board, who have now called Heynckes out of retirement in order to see the team through to the end of the campaign. The 72-year-old called time on his coaching career four years ago after leading the German giants to an historic treble, with Pep Guardiola replacing him in the hotseat.
But his appointment as caretaker boss looks like it has already unified the Bayern ranks if Saturday’s 5-0 romp against Freiburg is anything to go by.