Created on 08-12-2015 at 20:00 PM
Bayern departed in fog and landed in fog, but their vision was crystal clear when they arrived in Zagreb's winter darkness on Tuesday afternoon. “Only a win counts for us,” stressed Rafinha on the eve of the last Champions League group match away to Dinamo on Wednesday (Live in English from 20.45 CET on Twitter and fcbayern.de free Web Radio).
The situation in Group F has no impact on the Bavarians' will to win. FC Bayern have already secured top spot in the group and Dinamo will finish fourth, regardless of the scoreline after the last match of the year in Europe's elite club competition. “We're sportsmen, we always want to win,” Philipp Lahm confirmed prior to FCB's 100th Champions League match on foreign soil. A few days after their first Bundesliga defeat of the season at Gladbach, the Reds want to return to winning ways. “We intend to improve a number of things and we absolutely want to win,” insisted Thomas Müller.
“It's the Champions League, it's not a friendly,” explained Pep Guardiola at the pre-match press conference before examining the pitch, with temperatures touching no more than two degrees at the Maksimir Stadium. “I expect the best of my players,” stressed the FCB head coach, adding: “Should I notice that any of my players isn't focused tomorrow he's going to have a problem.”
Match practice for Ribéry
But Pep Guardiola does not expect that to happen. “I have yet to meet a player who doesn't want to turn in a good display and win,” the Catalan commented. His troops have enjoyed “an incredible group stage. We've played every match at a high level, even when we lost in London.”
Guardiola was pleased with the “ideal situation” as his men have already won the group: he can spare some of his players and allow others to gain match practice in Zagreb. Manuel Neuer for instance did not travel to Croatia, but Franck Ribéry can expect to make an appearance after his yearned-for comeback in Gladbach: “He plays. I don't know yet whether he's on from the start or fielded in the second half,” added Guardiola.
In the first encounter with the Croatians ten weeks ago Bayern won 5-0 on their home field. A 1-0 victory would be enough to set an all-time record in the group stage. The club record from the 2012/13 treble season: 15 points, 17 goals scored and five conceded. Currently the German record champions are on 12 points, the goal difference being 17-3. The Reds respect Dinamo, as Rafinha assured, but “everyone knows that we want to win every match.”