MUNICH, Germany: Holders Bayern Munich will bid to bounce back from their shock Bundesliga defeat at the weekend by reaching the last four of the Champions League tomorrow by beating Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final, second-leg, clash.
Having drawn the previous two matches, the Champions League holders suffered their first league defeat in 18 months when their 53-match run was ended by a 1-0 defeat at Augsburg on Saturday.
The defeat followed last Tuesday’s 1-1 first-leg draw against United at Old Trafford.
In the wake of the Augsburg defeat, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has come in for some criticism for naming a weakened side with seven changes — including three teenagers — from the team which drew in Manchester.
“But if we go through on Wednesday, we will have done everything right,” replied Germany star Thomas Mueller when asked about the criticism. No one in the Bayern camp is focusing on anything less than a victory against Manchester, even though a goalless draw would put them through. “We’ve got to play to win. We’ll end up losing if we play for a goalless draw,” said Bayern’s Brazil centre-back Dante, who will return having been suspended for the first-leg.
“We’ve got to be aggressive going forward from the start and try to score. “Manchester United will sit back again. “They’ll take more risks the longer the game goes on.”
Guardiola will have to make a few more changes for the second-leg, especially in midfield with both Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger suspended.
Attacking midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri are injured, but Guardiola still has plenty of options including Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze and Franck Ribery.
United are bidding to match neighbours Manchester City’s achievement of claiming victory in Munich this season when they came back from two goals down to beat Bayern 3-2 in the group stages last December.
Dante says Bayern must draw on their home support. “We’re at home in front of nearly 70,000 fans, the Arena has to be like a cauldron. We need the atmosphere, we need our fans,” said the Brazil international. AFP