FC Bayern’s chances of winning the UWCL title
In April 2019, the FC Bayern Frauen participated their first UWCL semi-final ever. But they were defeated by FC Barcelona and missed out the chance to reach the final in Budapest. But ending the Frauen Bundesliga on the second position of the table in 18/19 season ensured them the chance to fight for the UWCL title again in the 19/20 season.
After the 18/19 season, a massive overhaul awaited the Bayern team, manager Thomas Wörle left the club. He managed the women’s team for 9 years so a huge era was ending. But there were high hopes for the incoming manager Jens Scheuer. Scheuer managed the SC Freiburg women’s team for 4 years and lead them to the German Cup final in 2019 before he signed for Bayern Munich. They also reinforced their squad with signings such as the Swedish defender Amanda Ilestedt, the German Carolin Simon from Lyon and the German internationals Gwinn and Dallmann.
With all the changes in the Bayern’s team and a well-played Frauen Bundesliga season, will they be able to drop out the title favourites Lyon and win the trophy in the end?
Ending the Frauen Bundesliga 19/20 on the second position behind VfL Wolfsburg again with 17 wins in 22 games is solid. Both fixtures against Wolfsburg in the 19/20 season parted in a draw. Bayern’s side really reinforced their defensive line therefore they were able to hold up against the incredible attacking threat of Wolfsburg. They only scored only one goal in two games against them which is really impressive when you have to cope with players such as Pernille Harder and Ewa Pajor. As you can see a major strength of them is their defence which they successfully reinforced last year with the signings of Carolin Simon and Amanda Ilestetd. Together they scored 5 goals and assisted 9 times in the last season. The recently signed defenders Hanna Glas and Marina Hegering are further reinforcements for their defensive line. By conceding only one goal in their preseason games it seems like they’ve build up a strong defence.
But worth to mention is not only their defending work, during the summer they added some highly expected forwards. The German international youngsters' Lea Schüller and Klara Bühl joined FC Bayern Munich. Both forwards impressed in their last seasons and are highly rated to reinforce Bayern’s attacking line. Due to a shoulder injury Bühl won’t be able to participate in the upcoming Champions League tournament but Schüller showed her potential and her quick integration to the team in their preseason. Another young star player who we have to keep an eye on is Guilia Gwinn. The 21-year-old promising midfielder has already shown her talent during the Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. She assured with class performances last season and also started the preseason with Bayern very well by scoring 4 goals.
Bayern’s weakness in the expired season was their discontinuous performances. In most of the games where they dropped some points, they were going in as the favourites. It could have been a lack of concentration but Bayern has to improve here if they want to keep up with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and want to successfully participate in the UWCL. They also created much more goal chances as they scored. The inconsequence in front of the goal could be solved by the new additional attackers Schüller and Bühl in the upcoming season. There are high hopes for them to add some more goals to Bayern’s side. Both have already shown their qualities with consistent finishing as well as for their former clubs in the Bundesliga and for the German national team.
Player to watch out for:
Next to the youngsters who were mentioned earlier, Lina Magull is a player to watch out for. The 26-year-old plays a very important role in the team. She is a very variable midfielder and well-known for her skilfulness on the pitch. Another markable strength of Magull is her freekicks technique which lead to some fantastic goals in the latest season. The German international is the creative center of the team and controls their offensive gameplay. Before she signed for Bayern Munich in 2018 she had played in Freiburg and Wolfsburg. With Wolfsburg she has already won the Champions League trophy two times and is now willing to win it with Bayern again.
Quarterfinals against Olympique Lyonnaise:
Starting in the UWCL final tournament with the title-holding Olympique Lyon as their opponents is tough. Lyon have already won the league title and the French Cup and is now highly motivated to defend their UWCL title and secure their trophy triple. But they’re coming out of a long and special season due to the corona break. They didn’t seem to be playing on their highest level lately and really struggled in the French cup final against Paris Saint-Germain. Furthermore, they didn’t have an actual break between the cup final and the upcoming Champions League fixtures. With Bayern coming out of a great preseason they maybe expect a fatigued French side and see their chance to beat them. It’s going to be a hard task but everything is possible in this game.
Potential Semifinal against Arsenal:
A potential Semifinal against the last remaining English side in all European competition (both men and women) Arsenal, will cause them to break through with their attacking line. The defence was Arsenals weak point in the last season and Bayern can put them on major pressure with their new assembled attacking line. But on the other hand, they have to build up a defensive solidity to get the Dutch all-time top goal scorer Miedema under control. With 10 scored goals she’s leading the top goal scorer competition of the 19/20 UWCL. It won’t be an easy match for both sides. Arsenal have also recently reinforced their team with the Australian Steph Catley and Swiss international Noelle Maritz in the backline and are hoping to build up a more consistent defence. A player who took part in the semifinal between FC Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona in 2019 is former Bayern player Leonie Maier. She signed for Arsenal last summer and knows the German side very well. Maybe Arsenal can make use of Maier’s knowledge here and there.
Potential final against VfL Wolfsburg:
A German UWCL final would be a very close game. Both teams know each other very well due to the matches in the Frauen-Bundesliga and the German cup. Wolfsburg will be highly motivated to win this year’s title. After failing to win the trophy since 2014 they are determined to finish the season 19/20 winning all possible trophies and secure the title hat-trick. Wolfsburg has such a dominant attacking side with Danish international captain Pernille Harder, Swedish international Rolfö and polish international Pajor. Harder ended the expired Frauen Bundesliga season as top goalscorer with 27 goals in 21 games. Not to forget Alexandra Popp who is playing a midfield position more lately but isn’t less dangerous in front of the goal.
Rolfö signed from Bayern last summer and has struggled with injuries since then. But like Leonie Maier for Arsenal, also Rolfö can help with tactical knowledge, team setup and weakness of the opponents.
Also, Wolfsburg is vulnerable as they had a major loss during the summer with Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir signing for Lyon. Their weakness in the defensive midfield due to the loss of Gunnarsdottir which was visible during the German Cup final when they conceded 3 goals. They managed to win the final on penalties, but it wasn’t a solid performance by them.
Bayern has shown in the previous matches against them this season that they are able to compete with them. They also have to settle a score with Wolfsburg after Wolfsburg defeated Bayern 1:3 in the round of sixteen of the German Cup, which was a tough setback for them. But out of this setback, they managed to draw with Wolfsburg one week later in a league game. That means they played 1:3, 1:1 and 0:0 against each other in the last season and so it would be a very close game.