Five things Manchester United can learn from Bayern’s draw against Hoffenheim

Manchester United

Can the Red Devils be more optimistic now for their Champions League match on Tuesday?

1) Bayern are more focused on the Champions League than on the Bundesliga

Guardiola said during the week that there are three important matches left this season, namely the two matches in the Champions League against Manchester United and the semifinal in the German cup against Kaiserslautern.

His starting lineup against Hoffenheim demonstrated that Bayern sees the rest of the Bundesliga matches as big training sessions.

In the match against the team with the worst defence in the Bundesliga he left regular starters Alaba, Lahm, Müller, Neuer and Robben on the bench, and didn’t nominate Boateng and Kroos at all.

Instead he used the match to keep up the motivation of the fringe players and to show them that they are also important for the team. For example he let the second goalkeeper Starke play against his former team Hoffenheim.

2) The alternatives in the defence lack quality

Central defender Daniel van Buyten in particular didn’t have a good day and wasn’t half as safe in his actions as regular starter Jerome Boateng. Also Contento couldn’t replace Alaba in an equal way.

But also the other two defenders, who have played regularly, Rafinha and Dante had a lot of problems with Hoffenheim’s fast attackers. However, both made the impression that they didn’t want to risk anything before the Champions League match on Tuesday.

Neuer’s replacement Starke however had a good match and could not be blamed for the three goals he conceded.

3) The attacking alternatives managed to convince

In particular Claudio Pizarro and Xherdan Shaqiri showed that they would probably be permanent starters in almost any other Bundesliga team. Pizarro scored two goals and had one assist, whereas Shaqiri contributed one goal and one assist to Bayern’s three goals.

Although both of them will probably not play against United, when Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic are expected to replace them, it’s still good to know for Bayern that they have these options on the bench.

United’s defenders will need a very good day to stop Bayern’s flexible and very efficient attacking game.

4) Pressing and forechecking is the way to play against German champions

Hoffenheim play a very aggressive pressing game which created a lot of problems for Bayern’s midfielders. On Tuesday it will be even more difficult as their technically most gifted midfielder Thiago picked up an injury in the game and won’t be able to play for the next four weeks. This will be the chance for Toni Kroos to step up and show that he can really be one of the leaders of this team.

5) Bayern’s players had a good excuse for this weaker performance

After winning the Bundesliga title last Tuesday the team celebrated the whole night in a discotheque in Munich and probably spent the rest of the week recovering.

The preparation for the match against Hoffenheim was definitely not the most professional one because there was no real mental and physical pressure for them anymore after winning the title.

However, United can be sure that Guardiola the perfectionist will send a team with a different attitude on the pitch on Tuesday. This match against Hoffenheim shouldn’t really be an indicator for United and what they have to expect from Bayern.

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