Anderlecht vs Bayern München – Wednesday, November 22, 19:45GMT/20:45CET – Constant-Vanden-Stock Stadium, Brussels.
Bayern München are once again on track to win the Bundesliga. A clear victory over Augsburg and Dortmund’s defeat against Stuttgart as well as Leipzig’s draw against Leverkusen means that Bayern are six points clear on top of the table.
Head coach Jupp Heynckes took over on October 21, Bayern have collected 14 more points than closest rival Borussia Dortmund. It is a remarkable turnaround by the club that looked ahead to a troubled season just a month ago. At the same time, there are still many question marks about this Bayern side.
Heynckes has mostly benefited from the weaknesses of the other Bundesliga sides. The game against Augsburg, for example, showed that Bayern are lacking a tactical ideology and are mostly dependent on the individual brilliance of their players rather than collective strength. Tactical improvements will be necessary if Bayern want to be on top form when trophies are on the line in the spring.
Speaking to the media after the Augsburg game Heynckes admitted that his side still needs to develop. The two remaining games in the Champions League group stage will be key to develop his side. Bayern have already qualified for the round of 16 and at the same time are unlikely to overtake first placed Paris Saint-Germain, which means the two remaining group stage games could be considered competitive friendly matches.
Anderlecht in the meantime have had a poor Champions League season and have not recorded a single goal and point. Anderlecht head coach Hein Vanhaezebrouk took over from René Weiler in October and has introduced a new system that includes high pressing and a quick transition game. High pressing and quick transition game could hurt Bayern, but the individual talent of der Rekordmeister will likely see them get a decisive result against the Belgian record champion.
Anderlecht vs Bayern – Player to look out for:
Leander Dendoncker #32 – RSC Anderlecht
Midfielder Leander Dendoncker is the latest bright talent from RSC Anderlecht’s academy. The 22-year-old defensive midfielder anchors Anderlecht’s midfield and is the key player on the Belgium side. Dendoncker has already been linked with a move to Germany, Spain or England and solid Champions League performances will further his transfer value.
Robert Lewandowski #9 – Bayern München
Robert Lewandowski has been in the news for wanting his club to sign a backup. The Polish forward feels that he will no longer be able to play 90 minutes three times a week. The need for a backup did not stop Lewandowski to score two goals on Saturday against FC Augsburg. The Polish forward has now scored 13 goals this season and is once again on track to win the Torjägerkanone.
Anderlecht vs Bayern München – Match Stats
- Bayern are second on nine points, three behind leaders Paris. They will stay in contention to win the section if they match or better Paris’ result against Celtic.
- Bayern have won six of the teams’ 11 meetings, although Anderlecht triumphed in the last before this season for their third victory overall.
- Anderlecht secured a 2-1 success in Munich in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16 second leg despite Lúcio’s ninth-minute opener for Bayern.
- That was Bayern’s first home defeat by Belgian visitors; they had won all six previous home games against Belgian teams, scoring 13 goals and conceding two.
- Anderlecht won their first two home matches against Bayern, but that 2008 victory was their first success in six games, home and away (D2 L3).
- Bottom of Group B, Anderlecht have conceded 15 goals without scoring themselves in losing their first four matches. At home, they were beaten 3-0 by Celtic before a 4-0 reverse against Paris on matchday 3.
- Matchday 1 was Bayern’s first meeting with Belgian opponents since that 2008 UEFA Europa League tie with Anderlecht. Overall their away record against Belgian clubs is W2 D3 L2, both defeats coming at Anderlecht.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Anderlecht vs Bayern München – 0-3
Anderlecht vs Bayern München – Possible Lineups
Sels – Spajić, Kara Mbodji, Deschacht – Kums – Trebel, Dendoncker – Bruno, Stanciu – Harbaoui, Onyekuru
Coach: Hein Vanhaezebrouk
Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba – Tolisso, Rudy – Robben, James, Coman – Lewandowski
Coach: Jupp Heynckes
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.