When FC Bayern and Juventus step on the pitch tomorrow, two of Europe's success stories will be battling for the right to continue in the Champions League semi-final. Both teams come off domestic wins and have a formidable lineup of players.
Juventus, strengthened by a win over Inter Milan (2-1) this weekend comes emboldened into the quarter final and like FC Bayern is sailing toward a domestic championship. FC Bayern trounced Hamburger SV 9-2 this weekend with Pizarro scoring four of the nine counters. Juventus leads Serie A by nine points over Napoli, while FC Bayern leads the Bundesliga by 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, also a quarter finalist.
Juventus coach Antonion Conte said that his side was traveling to Europe with a smile and without fear after their victory over Inter.
"We're traveling to Germany with a smile and without fear. We now have to show Europe that we are capable of big things. The victory (against Inter) gives us encouragement to deliver a great game (in the Allianz Arena).
As Juventus arrived in Munich late Sunday afternoon, the side was relaxed and took the opportunities for photo ops and interviews. The Italian media outlets, however, warned that to be a little too relaxed can have consequences. Bayern has also given a clear signal to Juventus after their 9-2 victory over Hamburg on Saturday.
On the weekend Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes used Pizarro as a striker, left Thomas Mueller, David Alaba and Frank Ribery on the bench. Arjen Robben delivered a top notch match. It would appear that Mandzukic, Mueller, and David Alaba will be part of the starting line up. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Boateng missed the match against Arsenal, but will be back in the line up tomorrow. Five German internationals will be in the starting eleven.
While Schweinsteiger is back, Phillip Lahm and Dante have a yellow card on their sheet and another booking will suspend them from the return leg in Turin next week.
Sebastian Giovinco is included in the 22 man squad in Munich for Juventus. There may be concerns over his fitness though and he may not start. Mirko Vucinic is recovering from the flu.
Juventus, meanwhile, have concerns over the fitness of attacker Sebastian Giovinco, who was scythed down by Esteban Cambiasso in their 2-1 Derby d'Italia victory over Inter, although he has been included in the 22-man squad. Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri will likely be the preferred strikers in the starting eleven.
Lichtsteiner, Vidal and Machisio could join Lahm and Dante on the suspended list for the return match on another booking.
Thomas Mueller depicted Bayern's chances for a victory on Tuesday on the heels of the 9-2 win over Hamburg with a cautious we shall see. Bayern knows they have a difficult match ahead of them, despite the home advantage. The primary goal, obviously is to prevent Juventus from getting an away goal, while hopefully penetrating a difficult Juventus defensive unit.
"We shall see. One could see (from the Hamburg match) that our attitude is dead on, our player cadre is strong and that Munich has a quality team. The game also showed (two goals by Hamburg) that we have to work on our defense."
Both teams are strong and top clubs in Europe. You can expect a close contest, with few goals. Juventus will obviously push to get an away goal to set the side up with an advantage for the second leg home match. Bayern will try to prevent a Juventus goal, while scoring at least one. All in all it will be an exciting match in Munich, with an unpredictable outcome.
Line Up:Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba - Gustavo, Schweinsteiger - Muller, Kroos, Ribery Mandzukic
Juventus: Buffon - Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci - L'stiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah - Matri, Quagliarella
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