The international break is over, and all club teams are back in action this weekend. It’s jam packed of interesting matches! What should you watch? Here are two possible options.
Bayern Munich vs Hamburg SV
Son Heung-Min, fresh off his heroics (even he was quite fortunate for it) in Seoul, will head back to Germany to take on eventual German champions Bayern Munich. Bayern has a massive 20 point lead over second place Borussia Dortmund, but still won’t be looking to take their foot off the proverbial gas. Bayern, somehow seems to largely go unnoticed by the international media, who instead point to the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, the Manchester clubs, PSG, and the like as teams loaded with talent. But, I would argue that really only Barcelona has more talent (I would say that Bayern and Madrid are about equal). Certainly it won’t be easy for Hamburg, and Son will most certainly have to play a part if they want to collect any points.
Bayern is a team that can blend the best of Barcelona and Madrid. Perfectly capable of dominating possession, but also able to slice teams apart on the counter. The have two top class forwards, dangerous wing men, and a solid midfield and defense. Korean fans will certainly remember the Croatian hitman Mario Manduzkic, who battered Kwak Tae-Hwi and Lee Jung-Soo in the friendly in London. Bayern’s other Mario, Mario Gomez, isn’t exactly a slouch either, but he is coming off ankle surgery early this season, and has been limited in his playing time. Behind whichever Mario plays are three very dangerous midfielders in Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, and usually Thomas Muller (but sometimes Arjen Robben). In front of the defense are two physically powerful defensive midfielders, Bastian Schweinsteiger (a personal favorite of mine) and Javi Martinez. The defense, although not spectacular, are solid. Phillip Lahm remains a top full back. Dante, Badstuber, Van Buyten, and Jerome Boateng are good centerbacks. David Alaba is becoming a decent full back as well. In goal is one of the best keepers in the world in Manuel Neuer. I’m not sure who will start for Bayern as they’ll likely have one eye on their midweek Champions League tie with Juventus. So, it’s possible that they’ll rest some of their starters like Muller and Mandzukic in start Robben and Gomez.
So, for Hamburg, they probably won’t expect to see much of the ball, especially considering they are the away team, and will likely look to play on the counter. In some ways that will play into Son’s strengths. Son has excelled at scoring on the counter. Bayern’s defense while solid, is not particularly fast. Boateng and Dante are prone to the occasional defensive lapse as well. The last time I really sat down to watch Son play for Hamburg was when they played Dortmund. That game was impressive because A) Hamburg played extremely well, and B) Son really abused a weakened Dortmund defense. I had expected Son to only see a little of the ball, but he got quite a lot of it. I’m curious to see how Son responds and plays against Bayern who should provide a stiffer test of his credentials.
Vitoria Setubal vs Maritimo
So this match, is one that was requested in the comments from the last WtW post. The player being watched in this match is Suk Hyun-Joon, a 21 year old forward for Maritimo. Admittedly, this is basically where the “preview” ends. I don’t really know anything about Suk Hyun-Joon, Maritimo, or Vitoria Setubal. I don’t really know anything about the Portugal Premeira Liga either beyond the big three of Benfica, Porto, and Sporting Lisbon. So, this will be a new one for me too.
As always, a disclaimer, I fully intend to watch this match, but I have never looked for Portuguese Liga streams. I imagine they’re available, but I can’t be sure of it. So, if this match fails through, I apologize.