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FCB’s happy memories of Moscow

Clashes between Bayern and Russian teams normally end well for the Germans. In 15 matches the treble winners have only lost twice, winning seven times (including the first leg against CSKA). Six games ended without a winner. On Russian soil the Reds have only lost once, in the UEFA Cup semi-final against Zenit St. Petersburg in 2008 (4-0). However, Bayern’s memories of Moscow are happy ones. On their way to winning the UEFA Cup in 1996 (5-0 against Lokomotive Moscow) and the Champions League in 2001 (3-0 against Spartak Moscow), Bayern showed that the Russian winter need by no bar to success. Claudio Pizarro was in the squad in 2001, but will be missing the latest battle due to injury. 

FCB poised for new benchmark

After beating Plzen 1-0 the men from Munich equalled a special record, and now have the chance to become the lone holders. If Bayern beat CSKA, they will have won their tenth Champions League match in succession. At the moment they are level with Barcelona, who won nine consecutive matches in 2002/03.

French ref Gautier to take charge

The Champions League tie involving Bayern on Wednesday evening in Moscow will see the Frenchman Antony Gautier as match official. The 36-year-old maths lecturer from Lille will be in charge of his fourth Champions League match, with Bayern involved for the first time. Gautier was named Referee of the Year in France twice (2009, 2011).

Champions League clubs remember typhoon casualties

UEFA and the 32 teams participating in the Champions League are to commemorate the victims of the Typhoon catastrophe in the Philippines. On Tuesday and Wednesday a banner reading “Hindi kayo nagiisa, Pilipinas“ will be shown during the official UEFA anthem. Furthermore statements will be read in the local language of the countries involved. “The entire European football family will stand together on the pitch to show their sympathy and support for the Philippines,” UEFA President Michel Platini said.

Shaq and Pizza on the training ground

Pep Guardiola cancelled Monday’s training session, but the Säbener Strasse facility was far from quiet. The biggest-name stars working out at club HQ were Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizarro, continuing their fitness training. Both are still recovering from torn muscles and completed an intense workout, supervised by sports rehab coach Thomas Wilhelmi.

Record viewing figures on Saturday

The 3-0 win against Dortmund on Saturday was a hit for TV broadcaster Sky. 1.86 million people saw the clash of the titans from the comfort of their own homes. According to an official spokesperson this was a new record. With 7.3 percent of the available audience watching the match, the pay TV channel had more viewers than most of the free TV stations. Furthermore, another 500,000 viewers watched the game from pubs, according to the spokesperson.