by Zack Lambert
October 20th, 2020
Atlético Madrid at Bayern Munich
Spread: Bayern (-1); O/U: 2.5, 3
Moneyline: Atlético +450, Bayern -180, Draw +345
Time/Location: 3:00 ET, Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Atlético Madrid (WWDDW)
Despite being in a La Liga position far too low for the likes of the mighty Liverpool slayers Atlético Madrid, the club are the only team yet to lose in La Liga. Four matches in Simeone’s side have two wins and two draws, sitting just above Barcelona in 8th place. At the same time as being just fine right now, Atléti have been so flat and unimpressive. A 6-1 win over a decent Granada team gave me some hope that Madrid might have changed, but two 0-0 draws later has me back in the metaphorical dumps.
If we make the 6-1 win something more reasonable like 3-1, problems start popping up all over. The attack is really out of sorts, even with new additions. Tack on the loss of Thomas Partey to Arsenal, the midfield is going to have a tough time controlling the game and getting the ball forward to the attackers. João Félix is finally coming around into form and Luis Suárez makes the team absolutely better, but they haven’t done enough yet. Atléti can’t be drawing with Huesca. They have to score. They have to win matches in the trenches. We know the defense is good enough considering three shoutouts. Show us more. Give us an attack. Help us believe because otherwise it’s going to be just another season under Simeone and Los Colchoneros are all too familiar with what that means.
Bayern Munich (WLWWW)
Die Meister! Bayern topped Europe last season after something of a drought, beating PSG in a fairly anti-climactic final. The Champions League and Bundesliga holders are almost certainly favorites to win the title again, but doing it is tougher than dreaming it up. Four matches into the season Bayern sit in second, but there’s no reason for concern considering the multi-championship hangover, short season, plus the club usually start just a tiny bit slow, mostly due to conservative team selections. This season opened with an 8-0 shelling of Schalke, but it was followed up by a retaliatory 4-1 drubbing from Hoffenheim. It was a moment of shock to those who watched, but Bayern simply moved on by beating Hertha and Arminia with ease.
The attack is still loaded and the Lewandowski, Sané, Müller, Gnabry connection is still insane, so we won’t get too deep into them. The four have already combined for 14 goals and seven assists in four games so you get the picture, right? The bigger story has been in the midfield and defense. Thiago moving on from the club is a big hit, but with injury recoveries Joshua Kimmish is able to move back into his natural defensive midfield position and that the spot Thiago was occupying. The central defense is loaded and the options are very good so there’s not a reason to worry. Sure, there’s some proneness to injuries and an Alaba contract fiasco, but that’s not a big deal to me right now. The club is stacked and there’s no reason to worry.
Analysis and Pick
This is probably the best match of the week and I don’t think it’s going to be very close. Bayern are utter class and I don’t really think any team can beat them when their best 11 is on the pitch. Granted, Sané is out for the match which means Coman will play the left wing, but that’s not really downgrading. Bayern’s depth is exceptional and I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes down to that part of the squad to win the match, but I don’t expect it to come to that. I do think this is a one goal win for Bayern so I would avoid the spread, but I recommend taking the under. These might be the two best defenses on the planet and Bayern won’t be looking for a blowout here. They just want the three points and no major injuries so don’t expect them to press too much and leave themselves exposed for a counter.