FC Rostov vs Bayern München will take place with the subplot that Bayern have finally lost the top spot in the German Bundesliga to Leipzig. In fact Bayern are also trailing Atlético Madrid by three points for top spot in Group D.
Gone is the dominance of the Pep Guardiola days as Bayern displayed the usual ball possession dominance on Saturday in der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund, but would fall to Schwarz-Gelben regardless, as Mario Götze and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang combined early in the first half to fire Dortmund.
The result displays a common theme for Bayern, who also looked vulnerable in the Champions League, losing on matchday 1 to Atlético Madrid, and failing to display their usual dominance in the two victories over PSV Eindhoven.
This is, however, where the good news ends for FC Rostov, as Bayern were clinical on matchday 2 in the Allianz Arena, when they utterly dismantled FC Rostov in a match that ended in a 5-0 victory for the Germans. In fact for Rostov the Champions League season has very much ended, as the Russians can no longer qualify for the round of 16 of the Champions League.
Futbolgrad predicted before the group phase that Rostov would finish fourth, but before matchday 5 Rostov are even on points in third place with PSV Eindhoven, and therefore still have a reasonable chance to advance to the round of 32 of the Europa League.
Now the major question will be how Bayern will react to the setback in Dortmund. There will be pressure on the Bavarian side to score an impressive win, to preserve their chance to take top spot from Atlético on matchday 6 of the group phase. But Russia in late November can be a hostile place for travelling sides, as minus temperatures are expected to hit Rostov on Wednesday night.
Furthermore, Rostov tied Rubin Kazan 0-0 on Friday, and last year’s silver medal winners are now fifth place in the Russian Football Premier League. There was always a bit of an expectation that Rostov would not be able to repeat last season’s success and finish at the very top of the table once again. There were even those who believed that the club would struggle throughout the season and will finish in the bottom half.
Management problems at the beginning of the season, and a strange coaching shuffle that saw Kurban Berdyev step down and eventually be replaced by his former assistant Ivan Daniliants. Berdyev failed to land a lucrative job in the Moscow, however, and is now with Rostov in a vice-president, advisory, assistant coach role, which was very much put in place to allow him to stay in charge without either side losing face.
Berdyev, was in charge of Rubin Kazan during their famous victory over FC Barcelona, and Bayern can be ensured that Rostov is prepared to make the necessary tactical adjustments in order to have a fighting chance against the wounded giant from Bavaria.
Futbolgrad’s Prediction: Rostov vs Bayern München 1-2
Dzhanaev – Mevlja, Granat, Navas – Ezatolahi, Erokhin, Noboa, Gatcan, Kalachev – Poloz, Azmoun
Manager: Ivan Daniliants
Ulreich – Alaba, Hummels, Boateng, Lahm – Thiago, Alonso, Sanches – Douglas Costa, Lewandowski, Müller
Manager: Carlos Ancelotti