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Feb 25, 2020 at 8pm UK at Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 36,761
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Preview: Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie between Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Chelsea head into the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich on the back of a morale-boosting win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Meanwhile, the German outfit make the trip to Stamford Bridge having maintained top spot in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought triumph against Pederborn.

Match preview

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard applauds on January 11, 2020© Reuters

Ahead of Saturday's game with Spurs, Frank Lampard was aware that he was beginning to come under some pressure from the club's supporters after four matches without success in the Premier League.

With Bayern, Liverpool and Everton also on the horizon in various competitions, there would have been an acknowledgement that the Blues needed to get back on track as soon as possible.

However, just like they did in the reverse fixture in December, Chelsea outfought and outclassed their London rivals, ultimately prevailing by well-taken goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso.

The West Londoners also had to cope with the feeling of injustice after Giovani Lo Celso remarkably survived a call for a red card, but Lampard watched his players come through another test of character at a time when they should have had a comfortable last half-hour.

Perhaps the most significant part of the weekend's derby was the performance of Giroud, who added a different dimension to Chelsea's play after being omitted from the team for much of the campaign.

Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring for Chelsea on February 22, 2020© Reuters

Although Lampard will insist that Tammy Abraham has earned a regular spot on merit, there have been increasing calls for Giroud to become more involved, especially after the World Cup winner missed out on a January exit.

For now at least, Chelsea will be grateful that the Frenchman remains part of their squad, with the target man also able to offer the team more height when it comes to defending set-piece situations.

Despite that not being required too much against Spurs, it is something which can only benefit Lampard's side in the coming months, with teams only growing in belief when it comes to getting the better of an inconsistent, and sometimes indecisive, backline.

Bayern have also shown their frailties in defence over recent weeks, conceding seven goals from their last five outings in all competitions.

That said, there are fewer concerns going forward with seven goals being scored during meetings with FC Koln and Pederborn respectively.

Hansi Flick in charge of Bayern Munich on November 6, 2019© Reuters

The back-to-back triumphs, which have seen Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski contribute five strikes between them, has ensured that Bayern remain at the top of the domestic standings at a time when their rivals struggle for consistency.

However, Hans Flick is aware that there is a demand for further progress in the Champions League after last season's last-16 exit, which made it six campaigns in a row in which Bayern had failed to reach the final.

With this year's competition as wide open as it has been for some time, Flick and his players know that there is a window of opportunity, especially against opponents who have found it difficult on their home patch.

Tuesday's contest will mark the second time that Bayern have made the trip to London in under six months after thrashing Spurs by a 7-2 scoreline during the group stages.

While the English club were perhaps unfortunate to lose by such a wide margin, Bayern displayed the kind of ruthlessness which could carry them to their sixth success in European football's premier competition.

Chelsea will be inclined to keep things as tight as possible during the first leg but if their previous form is anything to go by, inviting pressure onto themselves may only play into Bayern's favour

Chelsea Champions League form: LWWDDW
Chelsea form (all competitions): LDWDLW

Bayern Munich Champions League form: WWWWWW
Bayern Munich form (all competitions): WWWDWW

Team News

Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring for Chelsea on December 10, 2019© Reuters

Having successfully come through 20 minutes against Spurs at the weekend, Abraham could return to the starting lineup in place of Giroud.

Willian is also likely to get the nod over Ross Barkley, but Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are likely absentees through injury.

Providing that he shakes off a knock picked up from the Lo Celso challenge, Cesar Azpilicueta should retain his spot in a back three.

As for Bayern, Flick must decide whether to play three at the back or switch to a defensive four.

Unless Jerome Boateng is recalled, the former looks more likely, with Alvaro Odriozola and Alphonso Davies taking on the wing-back roles.

Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman are pushing for a start ahead of Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho.

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Caballero; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Willian, Mount; Abraham

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Neuer; Kimmich, Alaba, Hernandez; Odriozola, Tolisso, Thiago, Davies; Coutinho, Gnabry; Lewandowski

Head To Head

Chelsea and Bayern Munich have squared off on four occasions in Europe, games which have ended with neither club being able to keep a clean sheet.

The last two contests - the 2012 Champions League final and 2013 UEFA Super Cup - have been decided on penalties, with both teams winning one apiece.

Bayern's only visit to Stamford Bridge came in April 2005 as two goals from Lampard helped Chelsea to a 4-2 victory.

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We say: Chelsea 1-3 Bayern Munich

Although Chelsea are on a high after the success over Spurs, this represents a tougher challenge for the Blues. While Bayern had issues at the back on Friday, we feel that they will have too much quality for their hosts at the other end of the pitch.


Who will win Tuesday's Champions League clash between Chelsea and Bayern Munich?

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Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard on the touchline as Tottenham Hotspur face Chelsea in the Premier League on December 22, 2019.
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