By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- In advance of their last-16 round duel against Liverpool FC on February 19 and March 13 Bayern Munich is said to be under red alert.
The Bavarians coach Niko Kovac is facing several serious problems causing concern among fans and within the club.
The 47-year-old coach still claims his side won't surrender yet. But has Bayern got the power to strike back after the team lost further ground in the national Bundesliga?
A season without a title in one of the three competitions - Champions League, German Cup, and domestic league would be seen as a catastrophe.
The list of crucial cases appears like the who is who in German and international football.
Experienced players such as Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Mueller, Manuel Neuer (all 2014 World Cup champions with Germany), James Rodriguez, Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribery, and Arjen Robben are busy with their own problems.
Despite the prominent names, the team lacks a leader uniting the unbalanced squad. Due to various reason's neither James, Leon Goretzka or Thiago give the side's midfield stability.
While Ribery, Robben and Neuer struggle with aftereffects after long injuries break, Hummels and Boateng seem to have passed their peak. Lewandowski, Mueller, James and David Alaba are said to have difficulties with either the coach's tactics, rotation or are out of shape.
The sports magazine Kicker assumed Bayern has a mentality problem due to team internal turbulence.
The 3-1 defeat against Bayern Leverkusen again gave proof of Bayern's trouble when facing teams playing a fast-forwarding football. Liverpool is said to represent the fastest football in Europe.
Bayern lost games against dynamic sides like Borussia Dortmund (3-2) and Borussia Moenchengladbach (3-0).
"We don't manage like in the past years to dominate the games, we lack sovereignty," complained defender and midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
Fact is Bayern has conceived 23 goals in the Bundesliga after only 20 rounds of matches, more than in the last eight years.
Suele lacks experience but is providing speed and a healthy physical appearance. Hummels and Boateng lack speed and seem mentally blocked as they have lost their undisputed status. The number of serious mistakes is rising.
None of Bayern's stars seems ready to currently provide their best quality.
Who is the boss? The essential question remains unanswered.
Mueller, Lewandowski, Boateng, Hummels, and James next to Neuer, Robben and Ribery have extensive experience but are far from undisputed as the squad is in a state of rejuvenation. James is said to consider leaving for (Juventus Turin or Real Madrid), Robben and Ribery are departing after over ten years in the autumn of their career. Neuer hasn't yet gained back his best level after an eight months long injury. Mueller has lost his easiness after he has been placed in question.
The team has a motivation problem, and the atmosphere is said to be unbalanced the Kicker reported.
How serious is Neuer's newest injury? The German international is said to suffer from a torn ligament at his right thumb. He missed the Leverkusen game and didn't yet take up goalkeeper training. It is uncertain when he will return.
Fans now fear Neuer could miss the Liverpool games.
Neuer's replacement Sven Ulreich lacks game experience as he didn't play for over seven months.