presented by
Win or bust in Turin

Buoyant Bayern all set for showdown

In their sixth and last Champions League Group A fixture on Tuesday (Live in English from 8.30 pm CET on Web Radio), Bayern must beat Juventus in Turin to snatch a berth in the Round of 16. “We go there knowing we have to win. It’s not as if we have the option of playing for a point,” declared club captain Mark van Bommel in the build-up to the clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Juventus have the better going-in position,” acknowledged chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before boarding the plane to Piemont on Monday morning. Italy’s most successful club lie a point ahead of their German counterparts in the standings, and are also nominally the home team, although their own Stadio delle Alpi is closed at present for reconstruction. “However, I’m sure our team will go right to the limit to try and achieve something which looked pretty much impossible two weeks ago,” Rummenigge continued.

“We’ve set our sights high for the Champions League this season, so we simply have to win the match,” Van Bommel’s deputy Philipp Lahm agreed, “I’m very, very confident we’ll reach the last sixteen. It would be a good sign. It would give the team another boost.” A group stage exit from the elite competition would be “a huge disappointment,” the full-back confirmed. In that case, Bayern would drop into the inaugural Europa League after Christmas.