French club Olympique Marseille will open their European Champions League quarterfinal tie at home at the Stade Vélodrome against Bayern Munich of Germany on March 28. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Marseille’s Franck Ribery who is returning for the first time since leaving the club for Bayern Munich back in 2007.
The Champions League final will be held in Munich this year and Bayern is hoping to reach it to play in front of their home fans. Ribery said he can’t wait to play in Marseille again and is anxious to silence his critics with a stellar performance on the pitch. He’s especially anxious to prove fans of the French national team wrong as many of them blame him for the country’s horrible showing the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
The 28-year-old said every time he returns to his homeland fans are on his back and since most French supporters don’t tune in to watch the German Bundesliga they don’t realize just how good he is. He admits that he plays a lot better for his club than his country and isn’t sure if it’s a mental block or something else. Ribery said he’s a lot more relaxed in Germany as everybody in Munich goes out of their way to make him feel good.
Ribery knows the fans will be against him in the game though and feels his team will have to play their best to come out of Marseille with a three-point lead in the two-legged tie. Munich has been on a scoring rampage recently and could be hard to stop though. Marseille manager Didier Deschamps feels his team has a good chance though if they can defend well and score on their opportunities in the match.
He also said the players will need to raise the level of their game and the pressure is on Bayern since the final will be held at their home ground in May. Deschamps may start Elinton Andrade in goal since his regular keeper Steve Mandanda is suspended and Gennaro Bracigliano didn’t play well in goal recently when Marseille was knocked out of a domestic cup by lower-league team Quevilly. Souleymane Diawara is out as well because of suspension and Loic Remy is questionable
Bayern will likely have to play without Bastian Schweinsteiger since he’s still injured. It’s also expected that Daniel van Buyten and Breno will miss the game for the German side.
Marseille comes into this game in terrible form and are winless in their past five with four losses and a draw. Munich is undefeated in their past five games with four wins and a draw. Marseille has also lost nine out of their past 19 home games in the Champions League and have drawn three. However, they’ve knocked German teams out in their last two knockout rounds of the competition.
Marseille vs Bayern Munich Predictions
This will be the first meeting between the two sides and all signs point towards a Bayern win in this match.
WilliamHill.com has the odds of a Marseille triumph at 9/5 with a Bayern Munich victory at 5/6 and a draw at 11/5. Get free bets on the banner at top.