Created on 2017-04-11 at 20:41 PM
The whole of Europe and, most of all, the whole of Munich is looking forward to this match. On Wednesday evening, FC Bayern host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final (live ticker and web commentary from 20:45 CET). “It’s the top fixture in the Champions League, it’s worthy of a final,” commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in the run-up to the match.
The two teams have huge respect for each other having met in this competition in three of the last four years. “We’re playing against probably the best team in the world at the moment. We need two very focussed and high-quality performances, hopefully with few mistakes,” continued the FCB chairman.
Ancelotti not worrying about opponents
“They’re having a very good season,” said Carlo Ancelotti, but the Reds’ coach doesn’t want to concern himself too much with the opposition. “We’re focussed on our qualities. I’m not thinking about how Madrid will set up tactically. I need to think about my team. It’s a meeting of two top sides who both want to play football.”
The Italian was in a relaxed mood on the day before the game as he believes the first leg is not decisive. “It gives us the opportunity to make it easier for ourselves in the second leg. But the tie will be decided in Madrid and we want to go there with an advantage.”
Last-minute call on Lewandowski
The Italian will be without Mats Hummels in this mission as he sustained an injury in training on Sunday, but Ancelotti confirmed that Manuel Neuer is fit and will start in goal. Robert Lewandowski’s involvement is doubtful, though. The Pole only managed 20 minutes of training on Tuesday. “He feels good but we won’t make a decision on whether he can play until Wednesday. We’ll have to wait and see.”
This uncertainty isn’t causing the Bayern coach to panic, though. “Whether Lewandowski plays or not won’t affect our strategy or our confidence for the game,” he affirmed. Ancelotti wants his side to play to win at the Allianz Arena, as does Arturo Vidal. “The most important thing is to win, ideally with a two-goal lead so we can go to Madrid feeling relaxed,” said the Chilean.
Vidal will give everything
The 29 year-old is full of excitement for the game and dreams of winning Europe’s premier club competition. “I’ll give everything,” promised the midfielder, adding: “If I have to throw my head in front of the ball again I will (as he did against Dortmund on Saturday).”
Bayern are up for it and focussed. “The only thing that matters is that Bayern go through,” stressed Arjen Robben. All the signs point to a magnificent game of football and FCB are oozing confidence ahead of the titanic clash. Vidal ended by summing up his thoughts on the status of the two teams, and he sees it somewhat differently to Rummenigge: “They’re the holders but Bayern are the best club in the world!”