Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich Champions League Prediction for February 16, 2022

| February 15, 2022 9:07 am PDT

This is the first time in history that Salzburg is playing a match in the UEFA Champions League playoffs. Its opponent in Round of 16 is a six-time champion of Europe, Bayern Munich.

The two lock horns on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, which is where the home team is without a loss in almost a year. The trouble is that during that period, Salzburg hasn’t played against a team that’s as strong as Bayern Munich.

Evidence of Bayern’s power is that soccer sportsbooks see this team as the #2 favorite for winning this year’s trophy. The Champions League odds on Julian Nagelsmann’s men are +350 at the moment of writing.

Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich Odds

Salzburg to Win+520
The Draw+420
Bayern Munich to Win-256

Oddsmakers obviously don’t think Salzburg has what it takes to mess up with Bayern’s Champions League plans. The main reason why Bayern odds are so short is the fact that the value of this team is about four times higher than the value of Salzburg’s roster.

According to Transfermarkt, the total value of Bayern’s players is about $925 million. In comparison, the roster of Salzburg is estimated to be worth about $230 million.  

Another reason why bookmakers have faith in Bayern is that this team has a great record against Salzburg. Bayern won both of their two Champions League games played in November 2020. The game played in Munich finished 3-1 in Bayern’s favor, while the one that took place at Red Bull Arena saw the visitors win 6-1.

The Red Bulls are Hungry for Success

Owned by energy drinks company Red Bull, Salzburg has a business strategy focused on developing young players. So far, they’ve been doing their job well.

Salzburg is the team that put Erling Haaland on the soccer map, a man who’s now one of the most expensive players on the planet. After moving to Dortmund for about $23 million, he’s now worth over $170 million.

In 2022, there are plenty of Salzburg players who could follow the same path as Haaland. In fact, this team’s roster only has three players who are 30+ years old, while there are nine who are still in their teens. Further, Salzburg’s arguably best player, Karim Adeyemi, has just turned 20 in January.

These guys might not have a lot of experience, but they sure do have the hunger for success. Backed by nearly 30k supporters at the sold-out Red Bull Arena, they’re guaranteed to give their utmost on Wednesday.

It’s very likely Salzburg will go all-in on the offense. It’s just that attacking seems like the only way to hurt Bayern.

The bad news is that this tactic didn’t quite work out in their previous duels with the German champion. However, this time, Bayern is more vulnerable – it’s first-choice goalie is out with an injury.

Manuel Neuer’s Absence Could Mean Problems for Bayern

In the German Bundesliga, Manuel Neuer has missed just two games this season. His team lost both of them.

One of those was the game against Bochum, a team that played in the German second-tier last season. Despite entering the game as a huge favorite, Bayern ended up losing 4-2. So, what happened?

Well, pretty much everything went sideways for the Bundesliga champ, but if Manuel Neuer was there, things would’ve been different. Unfortunately, Bayern’s first-choice goalkeeper had to undergo surgery, for which he’ll have to stay away from the pitch for at least six weeks.

In his absence, backup goalie Sven Ulreich will be between the posts. The 33-year-old has played two Bundesliga games this season, in which we saw him concede six goals. With 3.0 goals allowed per game, his stats are far from brilliant, but he is Nagelsmann’s best option.

The boss of Bayern knows this, which is why you can be certain he’ll order his boys to try and keep the ball as far as possible from their 16-yard box. But what if that fails? Nagelsmann shouldn’t worry much – even if his team concedes a goal (or more), they definitely have the offensive weapons to fight back.

The most lethal weapon is Bayern’s no.9, Robert Lewandowski. Widely considered the very best striker in 2022, the Polish scoring machine has already scored 35 goals for Bayern in all competitions this season, nine of which happened in the Champions League.

Further, since the start of the year, Lewa has put away seven goals in just five games. That said, I’d be surprised if he didn’t score at Red Bulls Arena on Wednesday.

Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich Prediction

Pick
  • Bayern Munich to Win
    -256

Oddsmakers are certain Bayern will beat Salzburg, hence the odds aren’t that great. Bayern odds are -256 at MyBookie – that’s the best you can get.

If you’re looking for better odds, my advice is to stay at the same sportsbook, but change the betting market. Rather than betting on the match-winner, let’s focus on the goals market. I smell goals galore here.

With both teams famously playing offensive-minded soccer, I’m positive we’ll see at least four goals on Wednesday. The odds on “Over 3.5 Goals” are -110, which does look like a great betting value.

Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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