Strunz: Madrid will offer Bayern similar test to Bremen

The former midfielder expects the Spanish outfit to play defensively on Tuesday, posing a very similar challenge to Saturday’s opponents Werder Bremen

Thomas Strunz believes Bayern Munich can look to break down Real Madrid in the same way they overcame Werder Bremen this weekend.

The Bavarians earned a 5-2 win on Saturday with Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben all scoring while Claudio Pizarro scored two despite die Grun-Weissen twice taking a first-half lead through Theodor Gebre Selassie and Aaron Hunt.

Strunz feels that Bremen’s counter-attacking style is akin to that of los Blancos and that Pep Guardiola’s men can look to a similar blueprint for success when they take to the field for their Champions League semi-final second-leg on Tuesday.

“The game on Saturday against Werder Bremen [was] a good test for Bayern,” the 46-year-old wrote for TZ.

“Werder play very defensively, waiting for the counter – as I expect Real Madrid to do on Tuesday. The Bavarians [could] crack a closely packed defence [against Bremen]. This did not work on Wednesday in Madrid.

“In my eyes, the main reason was that FCB has played from midfield to forward slowly and Mario Mandzukic lacked support in attack. The team was very aligned with Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos in the centre on ball control. I would have liked Thomas Müller there as an attacking midfielder.

“Because of the gameplay Bayern must still be satisfied being 1-0 down. Had Ronaldo and Di Maria taken their chances it could have been nasty. Bayern had at the Bernabeu an awful lot of possession, but within a safe range. [Iker] Casillas was called into action seriously by Mario Gotze only in the 84th minute.”

Strunz remains confident that the Bavarians will progress to the Champions League final in Lisbon and believes he has identified the key elements needed to overturn the 1-0 loss in Madrid last week.

“In the second-leg die Roten must do the three things better to get to the final,” he continued.

“Mandzukic must receive more support from the midfield to give more of a goal threat. Then the Bavarians will have to play much faster and purposeful forward. And finally Ribery and Robben must run in behind again create a wide threat.”

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