Bayern Munich focus on Marseille not Real Madrid

Posted on by SoccerPunter

With his team on the verge of the Champions League semi-finals, Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has insisted his squad are focused solely on beating Marseille on Tuesday.

Bayern hold a 2-0 lead from last Wednesday’s first-leg victory in France and Real Madrid, who hammered APOEL 3-0 in Cyprus, are likely to meet them in the semi-finals, but first the Bavarians must see off Marseille in the home leg.

“We’re not talking about Real Madrid,” said Heynckes in Monday’s press conference.

“Firstly, we are not underestimating the opponents and secondly, we respect them. It should be remembered that Marseille have come back after 2-0 down and won 3-2 at Borussia Dortmund (in this season’s group stage).

“They will try everything at the Allianz Arena.”

No team has ever gone out of the Champions League knock-out stages after holding a 2-0 away lead from the first leg, but last season burns all too brightly in the memory for Bayern.

After a 1-0 success at Inter Milan in the round of 16, they suffered a 3-2 defeat in Munich that eliminated them from the competition, so the hosts are taking nothing for granted.

“We know it could turn out to be quite a difficult game,” said Bayern striker Mario Gomez.

“So many crazy things have happened in football in the past. We will not try to play for a 0-0. We want to win again, even knowing that Marseille are a strong team.

“We are expecting a physical game. You can’t expect our opponents to play quite cautiously. I think it will be quite intense, as it was in Marseille. We must show our will to win the game from the first minute.”

On a disciplinary level, Bayern need to be careful.

Midfielders Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos and Luis Gustavo, and defender Jerome Boateng are all on two yellow cards.

They need to stay on the good side of referee Svein Moen, as another booking would potentially rule them out of the semi-final.

As it is, Bayern will be without suspended vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, but Heynckes insists holding players back for the semi-finals is not an option.

“This does not affect the starting line-up. I don’t think like that,” he said.

Marseille will be missing suspended midfielder Alou Diarra, while captain and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda returns from his suspension after receiving a red card against Inter Milan in their round-of-16 clash.

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