Champions League

Strong Bayern give Heynckes selection headache

2018-02-19 18:14
Jupp Heynckes (AP)

Berlin - Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes admits he has some tough decisions to make with his side at near full-strength for their Champions League last 16, first-leg, clash against Besiktas on Tuesday.

For the first time in five years, Bayern have every outfield player fit and available for the match at the Allianz Arena.

Heynckes, who steered the five-time champions to the 2013 title, turns 73 in May, but says he still feels the "tension build" for a Champions League game.

Heynckes has tough calls to make with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the only absentee as he recovers from a fractured foot.

"I have no A or B team - there is just one Bayern team," Heynckes said on Monday.

"Every player knows their position and understands each other, so I don't think we have too many problems with rotation.

"There are far more benefits, because everyone feels important and stays fresh.

"It's not easy, but I think the players are happy with how I have managed it so far."

Heynckes made eight changes for the starting side which won 2-1 at Wolfsburg on Saturday, and has to decide who sits out of the 18-man squad to face Besiktas.

Thiago Alcantara made his comeback at Wolfsburg after three months sidelined by injury, while French winger Kingsley Coman has recovered from a cold.

Thomas Muller, Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez are all competing to play in behind striker Robert Lewandowski, while Coman, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are vying for berths on the wings.

Besiktas are in the Champions League knock-out stage for the first time.

The Turkish champions start a hectic period of six games in three weeks before the return leg against Bayern on March 14, including two home matches against Fenerbahce.

Bayern are on a 13-match winning streak, but Heynckes expects a hard fight in Munich.

"It's no surprise that Besiktas are here, they won all three of their away matches in the group stage," said Heynckes.

"They won't hide, they like to play attacking football -- if you let them. That's the key.

"They will look for their chances, so we need to be prepared.

"I hope my team puts in a top performance to lay the foundations for reaching the quarter-finals."

Heynckes is playing down Bayern's chances of winning the Champions League title for the first time in five years.

"All the top clubs want to win it," he said.

"There are five very strong teams in England, especially those that strengthened massively last summer and in winter.

"There are many favourites, not just the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris."

 

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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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