“We don’t have any central defenders, that’s how it is.” – Pep Guardiola
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Look, I know the toenail on Guardiola’s baby toe knows more about managing a football team than I ever will, but not having any central defenders seems like it could be a real problem when Bayern Munich take on Juventus in Turin on Tuesday (2:45 p.m. ET, with live and post-game coverage on PST).
Javi Martinez (knee), Jerome Boateng (groin) and Holger Badstuber (ankle) will all miss Tuesday’s game through injury. We’re not talking about an early-round domestic cup match against a fourth-division minnow here; we’re talking last year’s runners-up in the UEFA Champions League. Guardiola has a masterplan to cope with the disadvantage ahead of his side’s biggest game of the season thus far, though — quotes from the BBC:
“We’ve got to avoid conceding set-pieces. They are maybe the best team in Europe from set-pieces.”
Again, this seems like it’s going to be a really difficult to do once you combine the two above quotes into a 90-minute game of soccer. Prepare for something like 75 percent of possession by Bayern Munich in this one, because they can’t score if they don’t have the ball.