Bayern vs. Juve
Venue: Allianz Arena
Kick off: 8:45pm
With 55 minutes played in Turin last month, this tie appears to be as good as over.
Away goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben had seemingly put Bayern Munich in complete control of proceedings, with their place in the quarter-finals a formality.
Yet, to the credit of Juventus, they responded to claim a 2-2 draw and leave themselves with something to fight for when they face the Bavarians in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night (today).
News of Pep Guardiola’s agreement with Manchester City is said to have gone down like a lead balloon in Munich.
Supporters have understandably questioned where Guardiola’s attention and loyalty will lie during the closing months of the season, while certain officials have also expressed similar fears.
Yet, as far as results and performances go, you would not know that a change is in the offing. Since Guardiola went public with his impending switch to Manchester, his Bayern side have lost just one of their nine matches in all competitions.
During that time, 19 goals have been scored, with five clean sheets thrown into the bargain. If there were any suggestions that Guardiola would lose the support of the dressing room, that notion has certainly been dispelled.
After what was a surprisingly difficult start to the campaign, all appears to be rosy in the Juventus garden at present.
A fifth Serie A title is on the horizon following a 1-0 victory over Sassuolo on Friday night – a result that moved them three points clear of second-placed Napoli with nine matches left to play.
On top of that, Massimiliano Allegri’s men have booked their place in the Coppa Italia final.
It means that the Old Lady does not need to win or even necessarily go deep in the Champions League for this season to be regarded a successful one.
Indeed, Allegri has been quick to stress to reporters at recent press conferences that Europe’s premier competition should never become an obsession for those connected with the club, despite the fact that they were beaten finalists last May.
However, what the 48-year-old boss will no doubt be hoping for is an improved display from his charges to the one that they mustered in their first clash with Bayern.
Left-back Patrice Evra admitted that Juve were poor, having told the assembled media: “We were fearful in those opening 20 minutes. That’s the truth. Mentally I don’t think we started the game sure of ourselves. We were frenetic, anxious. Let’s say it and be unashamed about it – at the start we lacked character and personality.”
Bayern possible starting lineup: Neuer, Lahm, Kimmich, Alaba, Bernat, Vidal, Alonso, Robben, Muller, Costa, Lewandowski.
Juventus possible starting lineup: Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra, Cuadrado, Khedira, Hernanes, Pogba, Morata, Mandzukic.