After coming so close to Champions League glory last season, Bayern Munich begin this campaign with a home tie against Spanish side Valencia on Wednesday night (7.45pm BST, Sept 19).
Bayern continued their excellent start to the Bundesliga season on Saturday afternoon as they convincingly beat visitors Mainz at the Allianz Arena. Importantly, the game was another display of the power and incredible depth in Jupp Heynckes’ team.
Javi Martinez came off the bench in the second half to make his second appearance at home for Bayern, picking up some much-needed minutes ahead of a tough Champions League match. The Spaniard’s familiarity with Valencia’s game will be a bonus to both Heynckes and Bayern on the night, but it remains to be seen whether Martinez will feature in the game from the start.
Elsewhere, the Bayern attack is looking impressive and, once more, with plenty of quality in depth. Mario Mandzukic started the game against Mainz on the weekend and grabbed another goal for himself. That’s three goals in the league this season for the Croatian international.
Claudio Pizarro also played a part in the game, albeit a very small one, but did have a good opportunity in front of goal. The Paraguayan’s form during his time with Chelsea was not a true reflection of his qualities in attack: Pizarro scored 18 goals last season in the Bundesliga.
The combination of power, pace and scoring ability of Bayern’s midfield will also play a big role in the game against Valencia. Bastian Schweinsteiger grabbed a goal on the weekend, as did Toni Kroos. Substitute Javi Martinez also assisted in one of Bayern’s three goals on the day.
This Bayern midfield is not likely to be overrun, especially by a Valencia side who do not possess the same strength and authority in the centre of the park.
On the injury front, Arjen Robben is still out, but Franck Ribery is back and available for this match. In Ribery’s absence, Xherdan Shaqiri took up the left-sided role in the attack, performing well on the weekend and giving Ribery plenty to do to reclaim a permanent place back in the side.
Valencia have had a decent start to the La Liga season. Mauricio Pellegrino’s team sit in 11th place in the league table with five points. Their lack of cutting edge to see out games from winning positions can be somewhat forgiven considering the injuries to key players.
The midfield combo of Sergio Canales and Ever Benega are still out with their injuries, while Fernando Gago picked up a head injury during the international break. The squad is light in midfield, but I’m not entirely convinced Valencia could get a result even if they were at full strength.
Pellegrino’s men finally picked up their first win of the league season on the weekend, beating Celta Vigo 2-1 at the Mestalla. Another goal from Sofiane Feghouli this season, the industrious wide attacker is continuing to prove his value to this Valencia side. Former Lyon full-back Aly Cissokho also got his first goal for the club.
There’s only one player you really think of with Valencia, especially after recent seasons, and that’s striker Roberto Soldado. He’s a player that can cause even the best of teams problems, as he proved against Real Madrid on the first weekend of the new season, and Bayern should be weary of his threats.
The Spanish international has two league goals this season and has also managed to work his way into Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain squad.
Mauricio Pellegrino has his team playing with a lot of heart, but they often struggle to break down teams and grab everything that’s on offer. If they stand any chance of beating Bayern tomorrow night, we’ll have to see a new level of aggression, commitment and defensive ability. As yet, we haven’t seen that from Valencia this season.
Bayern Munich v Valencia Betting Tips verdict
Bayern’s defence can be got at but their attack is one of the most impressive in the whole competition.
- Bayern are best odds of 9/20 with BetVictor to win the match, which I would not put you off at all.
- I fancy Bayern to win by a margin of two goals. So a bet on the correct score betting of three goals to one (3-1) is worth a punt @ 11/1 with BetVictor & William Hill.
- The other wager is on the first goalscorer market. Betfred, SkyBet, Stan James & Coral all go a generous 4/1 about Mario Mandzukic to be the first to find the back of the net.