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18:55 PM, Tue 27th Oct: Broadcast live on BT Sport 1
The lucky draw brought Lokomotiv Moscow to face overrated opponents in the C1 period. A group is predicted to have no chance for the team to enter the inner circle. In the second leg of the Champions League they had to host the defending champions Bayern Munchen. This must be the toughest match manager Marko Nikolic has ever had in his career.
Layed at home and had a very good result against Red Bull Salzburg – a team that is also highly rated. In the 2–2 draw, Lokomotiv Moscow showed the effectiveness of his rare up-ball and a very level-footed position of the players. In the domestic league, they are also in destructive form with a five-match unbeaten streak, which can be a fulcive as well as confidence for the team entering this difficult head-to-head round. Lokomotiv Moscow, however, has never been highly valued for its defensive abilities, whether in the domestic league or in Europe, their weaknesses are always evident in close situations as well as their opponent’s ability to control the ball at high altitude. So this will probably be a huge threat for the team against the mighty Bayern.
Lokomotiv Moscow is showing a great determination to overthrow Zenit’s absolute dominate in the Russian Premier League for years. That is shown through their extremely high performance in recent years with a lot of wins coming in a row. Even this team maintained their good form in the Champions League when they excellently held Red Bull Salzburg in the opening round 2–2, thereby extending their unbeaten streak in all competitions to seven. The home side are going through a five-match winning streak on all fronts, including four wins. But in the next match they will have to host the UCL champions and this will be a very difficult match for them, most likely the home team’s uplifting series will have to stop in the next match.
On the other side of the line, Bayern Munich are still performing extremely well. The number of consecutive victories by Gray has stretched to six even in their last appearances, with Bayern Munich beating their opponents with very strong results. The overwhelming victory over Atletico Madrid last week was enough to show their strength. At the same time in the domestic league after a relatively deviated period earlier in the season, Bayern Munchen have gradually regained their form in the last few matches. The next match, despite having to play away from home, with the strength as well as the status of a defending champion, this will probably be a very difficult match for the away team.
An overwhelming 4–0 win over Atletico Madrid last week was enough to show his strength and overwhelmingness in this round. At the same time in the domestic league after a relatively deviated period earlier in the season, Bayern Munchens have gradually regained their form in their last matches. In particular, since losing 4–1 to Hoffenheim, hansi Flick has won three consecutive league games in the German Cup and Bundesliga. Despite playing away from home, with the strength as well as the status of a defending champion this will probably also be a difficult match for the team.
Taking on a ‘strong’ opponent is too challenging for Lokomotiv Moscow. Home-field advantage is likely not enough for Russia’s representatives to avoid defeat. What they can do is minimize the number of goals against.
Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme Marinato; Maciej Rybus, Murilo Cerqueira, Vedran Corluka, Dmitri Zhivoglyadov; Aleksei Miranchuk, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Daniil Kulikov, Rifat Zhemaletdinov; Eder, Fyodor Smolov.
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer; Lucas Hernandez, David Alaba, Niklas Sule, Benjamin Pavard; Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka; Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman; Robert Lewandowski.