Bayern v Juventus: ‘Typical Champions League quarter final’

BAYERN Munich’s Bundesliga form will count for nothing when they host Juventus in the quarter-final of the Champions League this evening.

Bayern are just one win away from clinching the title after setting a new club record of ten consecutive league victories, culminating in Saturday’s 9-2 humiliation of Hamburg.

They have scored 34 goals in that run, conceding just six, but the Champions League is a different competition and, as Arsenal showed in their 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena in the last round, it’s not as easy as they are making the Bundesliga appear.

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“It’s going to be a very high-quality game between two evenly-matched teams,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. “It’s going to be a typical Champions League quarter-final.”

Bayern know enough about what that means having reached this stage of the competition four times in the past five years, progressing to the final twice.

And with the memory of last May’s final defeat by Chelsea still very fresh in their minds, they will not be taking anything for granted in a tie they are once again favourites to win. “Juventus are one of Europe’s top teams,” added Heynckes. “They are very Italian, yet they are also very creative.

“They are very strong physically. Antonio Conte has done a great job with them in recent years and you can see his signature on this side.”

Juve, who knocked Celtic out at the last-16 stage, flew to Munich on Sunday to acclimatise to the unseasonally freezing conditions in the Bavarian capital.

“We have studied Bayern as much as they have studied us,” said coach Antonio Conte. “We’ll try to find defects in what is a very strong team. We have to find situations to hurt them without letting them hurt us.”

Conte has a doubt over the fitness of Mirko Vucinic, who missed the 2-1 win over Inter Milan at the weekend due to a virus, but he has no doubts about who is favourite at the Allianz Arena tonight.

“We know we are the outsiders,” he said. “And we know we are up against one of the favourites to win the Champions League, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, but we deserve to be here and we are not going to be lambs to the slaughter.”