As the D-day draws closer, Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez prepares himself to play one of his best games in a Bayern Munich shirt. The German giants will be hosting Liverpool in the return leg of the last-16 of the Champions league after a goal-less draw was played out in the first leg.
The Champions League trophy has eluded Bayern ever since their treble win in the 2012/13 season. Rodriguez will have a crucial role to play, should Bayern hope to keep their dreams of European success alive.
The first massive hurdle for Bayern will be to unlock one of the in-form defences in Europe right now. Virgil van Dijk and his troops will be doing their all to prevent any penetration from the Bayern attack and Rodriguez will have to step up to help his team overcome the English side.
When Bayern faced Rodriguez’s former club Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the compeition last season, the Colombian emerged as their best player over two legs. He even scored the equaliser in the second leg, which gave the German team some home and left them needing just one goal to progress to the finals. Clearly, it wasn’t enough.
One can’t make a strong case for whether the current Bayern team are of significant quality compared to the team that bowed out of the competition last season. But Rodriguez remains to be their best player in midfield and one of their best bets for game-changer in this crucial tie.
Liverpool’s weak link is clearly their midfield, which is definitely not on the same level as their lethal attack or sturdy defence.
Rodriguez will have to work this advantage in Bayern’s favour and ensure that they win the midfield battle and subsequently the game.
The 27-year-old has not scored a goal in the competition this season and has provided just one assist. However, he did play a crucial role in their campaign so far by playing a key role in build-up and adding some much-needed creativity. Rodriguez needs to step his game up a notch to help break the Liverpool defence.