Champions League : FC Bayern Muenchen Vs Juventus FC, Live RCTI Kamis 01.45 WIB
Posted by Hendra Gunawan on September 30, 2009
Bayern aim to take ‘big step’ against Juventus
Some six months after a creditable but ultimately futile 1-1 draw with eventual Champions League winners Barcelona, the glitz and glamour of Europe’s elite club competition returns to Munich when Bayern entertain Juventus on Wednesday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm on Web Radio), where the home are side keen to follow up their 3-0 opening day win away to Maccabi Haifa with another victory.
“If we win, it would be a big step towards the Round of 16,” commented Arjen Robben. His boss urged the players to deliver exactly that outcome. “You have to win your home games in the Champions League,” admonished Louis van Gaal on the eve of his first European match in charge at FCB. Some 13 camera crews and 70 reporters packed the Säbener Strasse media centre to hear Bastian Schweinsteiger’s terse summary of the situation: “We’re at home, and a win would take us five points clear of Juventus.”
Bayern lead Group A courtesy of their win in Israel, whereas the Turin side were held 1-1 at home by Girondins Bordeaux. “They’re under more pressure than we are,” observed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Robben agreed with the chairman: “The game’s more important to Juve.”
However, that has not lessened Bayern’s determination to win. “It’s a big test for us. We need to show we can do well in Europe,” said Robben. The benchmarks do not come much bigger than Juventus, undefeated so far this season. “They’re one of Europe’s leading clubs,” said Van Gaal, “they’re on form, and they boast quality and experience.”
On top of that, FCB have traditionally struggled to break down Italian teams. “It’s because they’re so well organised,” explained Van Gaal. The individual class at Juventus is also not in doubt. David Trezeguet, Vicenzo Iaquinta, Alessandro Del Piero, Felipe Melo and Diego are all the kind of players who can win a match with one piece of skill, the coach remarked. “Beating a team like that requires total concentration,” acknowledged Schweinsteiger.
Brazilian midfielder Diego, fit again after a hamstring strain, caused Bayern a problem or two in his spell with Werder Bremen and would need to be neutralised, observed Schweinsteiger. “We’ll be prepared for him. We’ll need to stay alert and keep a watchful eye on him. But he can’t be our only focus. Juventus have plenty of quality elsewhere.”
But Bayern offer quality in abundance too, and are confident despite Saturday’s unlucky 1-0 defeat to Hamburg in the Bundesliga. “The Champions League is a different competition, and we’re leading the table,” Van Gaal reminded his audience. “It’s good we’re playing again on Wednesday. We can get back to winning.”
Experienced Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon is expecting a purists’ dream of a match. “It’s a game for the brave, for players totally lacking in doubt or fear. It’s one of those games which make it worthwhile being a professional footballer, because you meet exceptionally strong teams in unique circumstances,” the Italy veteran gushed. Robben said he was looking forward to “a big game between two big clubs” – the Champions League in a nutshell.