Rostov are already out of the Champions League and Bayern are already through to the next round, but the Bundesliga side still can beat Atletico to first place with a win against Rostov and another against Atletico on the last match day. Bayern lost Der Klassiker over the weekend 1-0 to Dortmund which saw them drop into second in the Bundesliga behind newly promoted RB Leipzig. While Rostov have only won one in their last seven, it’s not an ideal trip to make after a tough weekend domestically. Trips in European competition to Russia are rarely easy and the temperature is expected to be below freezing by kick-off. Add in the fact that both teams know whether they’ll be playing in the next round and this match looks set to be a slow-starter. It’s a noon or earlier kick-off in the US, so it may be a relaxing way to ease into your day.
The Russian side are getting one hell of an introduction to the Champions League in their first year in the competition - a group featuring Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven. But, you’d imagine their fans will be buzzing to welcome that trio to the 15,000 seater Olimp-2 stadium. The western Russia-based club are experiencing the best period in their 86 year history, winning the Russian Cup in 2014 and finishing as runners-up in the Russian Premier League last year after nearly being relegated the season prior. Over the summer they locked down their top scorer from last season, Sardar Azmoun, who was previously on loan. Realistically, being on this stage is an incredible achievement for Rostov and any results are an added bonus.
Bayern last won the Champions League in 2013 and have since watched the trophy stay in Spain for three straight years, despite Pep leading them to four straight Bundesliga titles and the German national team atop international football. New manager Carlo Ancelotti’s charge is clear - get the Champions League trophy back to Munich. They’re bolstered by the additions of former Dortmund captain Mats Hummels and the Euros’ breakout young star, Renato Sanches. After losing in the semi-finals last year on away goals to Atletico Madrid, the German giants will be motivated to get back on top.
The 21 year old Iranian international has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for his country.
The squad’s captain has played over 195 matches for Rostov and was the Moldovan footballer of the year in 2013.
Equal parts bruiser and magician, Vidal won Serie A in each of his four seasons at Juventus.
Scored 42 goals in all competitions last season and began the new Bundesliga season with a hat trick.