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Last sixteen beckons

Steaua stand between FCB and knockout stage

Bayern’s Champions League Group F meeting with Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm CET on FCB Web Radio) appears a routine task on paper. The Romanians are bottom of the section and the German champions have yet to lose in Europe this term, but Jürgen Klinsmann still warned his men to prepare for “an awesome clash” as they attempt to reach the knockout stages with a game to spare. “We want a place in the last sixteen, and we want it now,” the FCB head coach declared.

To be certain of going through, Bayern require a single point against a Bucharest side without a win in 12 matches. That would allow the Bavarians to focus 100 percent on the trip to joint leaders Lyon in two weeks’ time, which would then also serve to decide the winners of the group. For this reason alone, FCB will not settle for a draw at home to Steaua. A win would make it far easier for Bayern to finish top of the section, “and that’s our second target,” advised Mark van Bommel.

Hard work ahead

Group winners play the first leg in the first knockout round away from home, with the decisive return in front of their home crowd. “It’s easier, in my opinion. When I was with Barcelona and we won the Champions League, we had the away match first on three occasions,” Van Bommel noted. Added Bastian Schweinsteiger: “That’s how we beat Real and made the quarter-finals in 2007.” FCB lost 3-2 in Madrid two years ago, but won the home leg 2-1.