Created on 02-04-2018 at 18:45 PM
A first for FC Bayern in Europe's elite club competition: the German record champions have contested 229 Champions League matches, but none of them in Seville. On Tuesday evening the Bavarians face Sevilla (live ticker from 20.45 CET) in the Champions League last eight, and they will be looking to achieve a good position for next week's second leg at the Allianz Arena.
"It's going to be a very, very difficult match, and we'll need two good displays on Tuesday and next week to advance to the semi-finals. That's our goal, but we know it's going to be very tough," declared chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge before departure for southern Spain on Tuesday morning. "We face opponents you absolutely mustn't underestimate," said Rummenigge, who stressed: "We know what awaits us there."
Heynckes' positive record
The side lying sixth in the Spanish league underlined their quality on Saturday, when they held FC Barcelona to a draw. The Catalans were two down in the closing stages, only two late goals prevented their first league defeat in one year. "An incredibly difficult task awaits us on Tuesday. Sevilla are a very good team. They're almost reckless in their pressing on their home field. And they have a bunch of good players," said centre-back Mats Hummels.
Coach Jupp Heynckes, who has been monitoring Spanish football for years, knows what awaits his men at the sold-out Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. "We know we have to turn in a very good display away to Sevilla to achieve a good position," said the 72-year-old. Heynckes encountered Sevilla 12 times during his time in Spain. His record of five victories, three draws and four defeats is positive.
A good result and a goal
Heynckes hopes his record will stay positive on Tuesday, but Sevilla are extremely strong at home. The Andalusians have yet to lose at home against a German side. Sevilla have won all three of their last encounters with Bundesliga teams, not conceding a goal in any of them. "Ideally we'll achieve a good result and score a goal," said Rummenigge, referring to Manchester United, who were knocked out despite a goalless draw in Seville, losing 2-1 in the second leg.
"The way they knocked out Manchester was impressive. They took on Barcelona last weekend, you could see how they play against top teams. I think the result and the fact that the 2-2 draw was very flattering for Barcelona were enough of a warning," said Thomas Müller: "To be honest I don't care how we advance, but of course we absolutely want to score tomorrow."
Robben demands top performance
Heynckes has almost the entire squad at his disposal. 21 players have travelled to Seville. Only keeper Manuel Neuer and Kingsley Coman miss out with injury. Arturo Vidal and Juan Bernat, who took a breather against Dortmund on Saturday, resumed the squad programme on Sunday and will be available for selection in Seville's cauldron. Arjen Robben has recovered in time from minor problems before the international break.
"We need a top performance to take the first step towards the semis," said Robben, who encountered Sevilla when he played for Real Madrid. "It'll be a fiery match. They're always strong on their home field, in front of their own fans. The atmosphere there is hot, we're in for a very difficult match. We have to play at a top level," said the Dutchman.