Champions League

Bayern ready for 'final'

2015-03-10 10:12
Pep Guardiola (AFP)

Berlin - Bayern Munich go into their Champions League last-16 second leg at home to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday knowing the game will make or break their season.

Bayern are runaway Bundesliga leaders and also reached the German Cup quarter-finals last week, but anything short of lifting Europe's biggest club crown will be considered a failure for Germany's wealthiest team.

"This match is a final for us," coach Pep Guardiola told reporters after Bayern's 3-1 win at Hanover 96 in the league on Saturday. "Only one thing matters and that is to win.

"We know what we have to do. They (Shakhtar) have extremely quick forwards and we cannot allow them to make their runs," said the Spaniard.

Bayern, five-time European champions, need to win to advance over 90 minutes, with a score draw sending the Ukrainians through after their goalless first leg last month.

The Bavarians are still odds-on favourites to progress, having won all their previous home games in the group stage this season without conceding a goal.

Bayern's domestic form has been equally impressive, having scored an eye-popping 21 goals in their last four league games.

"Against many opponents it is us who are the favourites and that is justified," said captain Philipp Lahm, who will miss the game after breaking his ankle late last year.

"So it is also up to us and our own performances to make sure we can count ourselves among the top teams or not," he told Kicker magazine. "Bayern have to advance because we want to belong to Europe's elite."

Guardiola will be without the experienced Xabi Alonso, who is suspended after his red card in the first leg, but he could have defender Medhi Benatia, back from injury, in the squad.

The odds are stacked against Shakhtar, whose season only started at the end of last month, said coach Mircea Lucescu.

"We will be playing against a very strong club. In my opinion Bayern are the world's strongest football team at the moment," the Romanian said.

"We have to respond to their extraordinary tactical discipline with equally strong tactical discipline."

He said the Ukrainians were at a disadvantage with their league only just underway.

"They have an advantage on us on that matter. Their team is also superior to ours, but football does not follow logical rules. In football, anything can happen," he said.

Defensive midfielder Taras Stepanenko is back following suspension for Shakhtar who are unbeaten in seven straight games in all competitions.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Basel v Manchester City, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Porto v Liverpool, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v PSG, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Bayern Munchen v Besiktas, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Chelsea v Barcelona, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Sevilla v Manchester United, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Roma, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Liverpool v Porto, Anfield 21:45
PSG v Real Madrid, Parc des Princes 21:45
Wednesday, 07 March 2018
Manchester City v Basel, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.