Created on 23-11-2015 at 15:40 PM
FC Bayern host Piraeus cracks Olympiacos in the top match of the second to last matchday of the Champions League group stage on Tuesday (Live in English from 20.45 CET on Twitter and fcbayern.de Web Radio). The teams are level on points at the top of Group F and a draw would see both through to the last sixteen. “But we’re aiming to win and to top the table,” stressed Manuel Neuer on the eve of Bayern's 100th Champions League home match.
“It's a final tomorrow. We're fighting for first place,” declared coach Pep Guardiola, calling the match against the Greek champions “one of the most important matches so far this season.” If they win, the men from Munich would secure top spot in the group regardless of results on the final matchday and ensure they play at home in the decisive second leg of the Round of 16.
“It's crucial to win the group. It would encourage us and put us in a better situation in the last sixteen,” commented Holger Badstuber, who wants the Reds to turn in a “good display” for the capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena. But the Bavarians are warned: “It certainly won't be an easy task,” added Neuer with regard to Olympiacos' record: the team lying top of the Greek league (ten wins in ten) have won all seven away matches in the current campaign, including a 3-2 victory against Arsenal.
“They’re very good in defence, leave very little space between the lines and have four quick wingers,” Guardiola cautioned, highlighting Olympiacos' undoubted qualities. His troops have to be wary, especially when it comes to counter-attacks and set pieces. Bayern did very well in the first leg (3-0) ten weeks ago, but Neuer sounded a note of caution: “It took us a while to score the opener. We have to be careful.”
Guardiola will pick from the same squad as for the 3-1 victory over Schalke at the weekend, with one possible exception: David Alaba sustained an ankle injury in Gelsenkirchen and will take a fitness test on Tuesday. The Austrian international could not take part in Monday’s final pre-match training session.
But this does not change the Bavarians' ambition to continue their streak and win their tenth home match in ten. “You can see from our joy of playing that we want to keep going. Everyone wants to show that he belongs in the starting line-up,” said Neuer, “we want to top the table and we’ll do whatever is needed for that.”