Ninety minutes separate Juventus from the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Or, as some may be leaning right now, 90 minutes separate Juventus from a Champions League exit. There's a an option that I think we would be okay with, and there's a result that the good folks at Bavarian Football Works would want to see happen.
Yes, we're back to talking a little Juventus-Bayern Munich with our SB Nation brethren from the German corner of the network. There wasn't much talk about who between Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal has the better hairstyle going these days, so maybe we can re-visit that topic at another time when we're not stressing over our respective teams winning and moving on in the Champions League.
Even with star players missing out and Juventus being big-time underdogs because of it, there are still plenty of storylines to discuss. So, because of that, we decided to ask a few things to our Bavarian Football Works friends. If you want to read the post where they asked me Juventus things, feel free to give it a gander right now.
If you want to keep it to focusing around a club we're not as familiar with in the form of Bayern Munich, here are the questions that we sought answers to. Luckily for us, there were actual answers waiting for us.
BWRAO: Besides the obvious one of actually putting Juventus away late in the game, what's the biggest thing that Bayern need to improve up from the first leg?
BFW: Bayern need to work on their control through the midfield in transition. They did phenomenally well at containing Juventus, but a couple individual mistakes from Joshua Kimmich put Bayern in positions that compromised their integrity. Their structure makes it so the space in between their center backs and deep midfielders can get stretched in transition and it was precisely these areas that Juventus found success in the second half in Turin. Bayern need to close those areas down faster and that begins -- and ultimately ends -- with Arturo Vidal showing up and having a monster game.
BWRAO: Bayern is still missing some important defenders from its starting lineup. Is this as big of a deal as it was entering the first leg?.
BFW: Not so much. Bayern Munich have Medhi Benatia back and while I personally think he's highly overrated, he is a monster in the air. Going head-to-head with Mario Mandzukic doesn't worry me as much as it did in the first leg. To pair alongside him, Kimmich has come on leaps and bounds in the last 4 weeks and I'm honestly more comfortable with him playing center back than I am anyone else at this point. To boot, Javi Martinez returned to first team training last week and in all likelihood will be available off the bench so there are late game options should Bayern Munich need them.
BWRAO: The last time Juventus played at the Allianz Arena, it was a disaster and caused Antonio Conte to be very, very sad. How much more confident are you in Bayern progressing knowing that the second leg is in Germany rather than at Juventus Stadium?
BFW: Bayern Munich have won every home Champions League match since May of 2014. They finished their three matches at the Allianz Arena in the group stage with an aggregate goals tally of plus-13. They scored 16 goals in their three home matches in the knockouts of the Champions League last year. The Allianz Arena is a massive ask for any team to come to and with Bayern already holding the advantage in this tie I'm extremely encouraged.