Champions League – Bayern Munich vs Manchester United, A derby that isn’t a derby

The Champions League is kicking off, and undoubtedly the most high-profile match of the first round will take place in Munich, between the six-time and three-time European champions, Bayern Munich and Manchester United. Ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago, this would have been a colossal derby, a clash between two powerful teams aiming for European glory. However, today, we can only say this about the German football giant who will be the clear favorite in this match. Manchester United hasn’t resembled the club that was among the best in Europe 10-15 years ago for quite some time, and the Allianz Arena does not sound like the place where the revival of old glory will begin. The reasons for this are manifold.


Bayern is unrivaled at home when it comes to Champions League matches. The Bavarians have triumphed in their last 25 group home games in CL. They’ve faced Manchester United at home 5 times and have never lost, with 3 wins and 2 draws. After three consecutive victories, Bayern played a draw in their last Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen, ending 2-2.


The Red Devils are coming to Germany in less than stellar spirits and under pressure to redeem their poor start to the season. The fact that they’ve conceded 10 goals in their last 4 matches does not bode well ahead of the duel with a formidable and offensive opponent like Bayern. Additionally, Manchester has lost convincingly in their last two away matches, both with a two-goal margin. Their most recent domestic league match ended in a 1-3 defeat at home to Brighton.


Bayern is the favorite, and it seems that a victory against Manchester United shouldn’t be a problem. We expect goals and a Bayern win by a realistic margin of 2 goals. Currently, that appears to be the balance of power. However, when it comes to big football names, you never know. Manchester will likely have to play their best game if they want to leave the Allianz Arena undefeated.


written by: Mladen Radosavljevic