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Trial of strength

Bayern aim to take ‘big step’ against Juventus

Some six months after a creditable but ultimately futile 1-1 draw with eventual Champions League winners Barcelona, the glitz and glamour of Europe’s elite club competition returns to Munich when Bayern entertain Juventus on Wednesday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm on Web Radio), where the home are side keen to follow up their 3-0 opening day win away to Maccabi Haifa with another victory.

“If we win, it would be a big step towards the Round of 16,” commented Arjen Robben. His boss urged the players to deliver exactly that outcome. “You have to win your home games in the Champions League,” admonished Louis van Gaal on the eve of his first European match in charge at FCB. Some 13 camera crews and 70 reporters packed the Säbener Strasse media centre to hear Bastian Schweinsteiger’s terse summary of the situation: “We’re at home, and a win would take us five points clear of Juventus.”

Bayern lead Group A courtesy of their win in Israel, whereas the Turin side were held 1-1 at home by Girondins Bordeaux. “They’re under more pressure than we are,” observed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Robben agreed with the chairman: “The game’s more important to Juve.”