While the men of Bayern Munich are on break for the World Cup, FC Bayern Frauen are still playing important matches before leaving for the winter break, both in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League. Alexander Straus, the FC Bayern coach who arrived this summer, was interviewed by Mia San Rot ahead of this week’s big clash with FC Barcelona. He discussed the importance of these home and home fixtures, what he expects from Barca and his tactics to get the most out of his squad.
Asked about the importance of the Champions League game against FC Barcelona, Straus played the game a bit, saying: “We have to focus on the game and not on the occasion, the atmosphere around it or the venue. We are playing a game on a football pitch which is about the same size as the other pitches we are playing on. We will play 90 minutes each, as usual. As a result, we have to focus on the technical and tactical aspects of the game. The atmosphere is something everyone can focus on. Of course, we are not machines and emotions always play a role, it will be a great experience. We have a lot of experienced players who have already played great games like this. This season we have already had very important games against Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg.
Straus was then asked about playing at Camp Nou. The Norwegian coach doubled down on his response, reiterating that they need to prepare not only for Camp Nou but also to play at the Allianz Arena. “Of course, it’s an iconic stadium. It’s a high point in the career of anyone who plays or coaches there. Then we play the Allianz Arena, something you will always keep with you for the rest of your life. And then we must not forget either that these will be very tough matches for which we must prepare very intensively.
Moving on to the match atmosphere, Straus spoke about what he expects to see from Barcelona. He says: “To be honest, I think Barcelona are currently in a transitional phase in terms of style. They play a bit more straight than before, they’re an incredibly good team, they won 4-0 against Real Madrid before the international break and could have scored eight goals. The game against Benfica was also very interesting as Benfica were quite good between the penalty areas, but Barcelona still scored nine goals. They are so effective. If you give them just half a chance, they’ll finish you off.
Mia San Rot’s interviewer then asked about Straus’ strategy for the match, and whether they were going to keep trying to control possession in-game, like they do in the Bundesliga, to keep Barca out of the game. their comfort. area. Straus replied: “It’s a big question that we’re working on and I already have my ideas on how we can do it. I don’t think it will be a game where, based on our current level of development, we should expect to control the game for 90 minutes like we often do in the league, for example. In this game, you also have to feel comfortable with the idea sometimes that they will have the ball. If we don’t, we would be naïve and we don’t want to be. We want to be able to defend them even without the ball.
Finally, they mentioned the friendly match played this summer against Barcelona in France. Bayern won 2-1. On whether or not Straus could learn something from this friendly for future matches, he said: “We did well in France this summer. So we know it is possible to beat them. In Spain, they are not used to defending much. They push a lot of players forward and try to get the balls back quickly. The gegen-pressing is really good, but when it doesn’t work they are quite open. Then there are spaces that we must conquer and where we must take advantage of possible mistakes. The question will be whether we have the quality to do it on D-Day.
Bayern Frauen will face FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on Thursday at 12:45 (ET). The match will be streamed for free on DAZN’s YouTube pages in multiple languages. Bayern will next host Barcelona on December 7 at the Allianz Arena. Bayern will then complete the group stage with a trip to Sweden to face Rosengard on December 15 and then host Benfica on December 21. Bayern will also play three more league games before the end of the year!