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Bayern Munich vs. Lille: Key Players to Reds' Champions League Victory

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - JULY 26:  Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen celebrates after scoring during a friendly match against VfL Wolfsburg as part of the Audi Football Summit 2012 on July 26, 2012 at the Guangdong Olympic Sports Center in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
Victor Fraile/Getty Images
Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2012

Wednesday's UEFA Champions League matchup between Bayern Munich and Lille favors the Reds in almost every way, but a few players can make a win much easier to achieve.

Bayern Munich has won 14 of its last 15 UCL home games. If that doesn't sound good enough, Lille has 11 of its last 12 away from home. The Reds have more talent, and home-field advantage should play a major role in determining the outcome of this one.

Lille enters the game as Group F's last place team. Bayern Munich has six points, tying it for first with Valencia and BATE Borisov.

Every UCL game is important. The Reds want to earn an expected win here, and here are three players who can help make that happen.

 

Arjen Robben

According to Sky Sports, Robben is set to return from injury for Wednesday's match. The devastating left wing can change any game in an instant.

Lille is last in Group F for many reasons, but their inability to defend the flanks is one of them. Robben can ruin a team's defensive strategy, even for the most elite sides in the world.

In four games of Bundesliga play, Robben hasn't scored. He's been trying to return to full form, and this could be his opportunity to do so. If he does, he will provide a tremendous boost for his side.

Bayern Munich is capable of hurting a defense even without Robben, but he makes them impossible to stop.

 

Claudio Pizarro

Sky Sports' report also states that Mario Gomez will be out of the lineup on Wednesday, which gives Pizarro a chance to start at the top of Bayern Munich's attack.

At 34 years old, Pizarro has the experience necessary to succeed here. Gomez is one of the side's most dangerous players, though, and his offense is necessary to winning big games. Pizarro must play well as his replacement, dictating the attack with his ability to break free from the Lille defense.

In Bundesliga play, Pizarro has one assist and no goals. Playing as Gomez's backup isn't easy, but he's done a fairly good job so far this season.

Even if Manuel Neuer is able to pitch a clean sheet in goal, someone must score for Munich to earn the victory. Pizarro may not be the first name that comes to mind most of the time, but his contributions will be important in this one.


Philipp Lahm

If the Reds can't score, the defense must hold up against Lille's attack. As usual, Lahm plays a major role in that effort.

Lahm is simply one of the best defenders in the world. He's not big, but his speed, quickness and unparalleled feel for the position make him difficult to beat in the defensive third.

Lille doesn't have an extremely dangerous attack, but it only takes one dangerous counter to make a game interesting. If the Reds make a mistake, someone will have to clean it up.

On top of his defensive ability, Lahm offers help in the attacking third as well. He's very good at carrying the ball up the field, testing the opposing defense and taking a well-timed shot or dishing a sharp pass.

Bayern Munich should win this game on paper, but it's always interesting to see how UCL games pan out. Every player will play an important role, but these three guys can swing the outcome drastically.

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