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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Football

Juve or highway for Bayern
Reuters
Munich, April 02, 2013
First Published: 01:01 IST(2/4/2013)
Last Updated: 02:22 IST(2/4/2013)
Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben (in pic) and fellow winger Franck Ribery will play a key role as the Bavarians host Juventus in the pick of the quarterfinal matches. AFP photo

Bayern Munich tackle Juventus in a Champions League culture clash on Tuesday with the Germans pitting their incisive attacking finesse against the Italians’ defensive bloody-mindedness.

Bayern, on the verge of a 23rd Bundesliga title, routed Hamburg 9-2 on Saturday to take their goals tally to 78 while finding the net 18 times in the Champions League.

Juventus, enjoying a nine-point lead in Serie A, have conceded only 19 goals in 30 league games this season and just four in the Champions League. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/4/02_04_pg22a.jpg

Attempting to keep the ravenous Bavarians at bay will be Juventus’s defensive spine of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon conceded last of his four goals in the third of their six group games — a stretch of 490 minutes. Even that goal came from a direct free-kick, not open play.

The Italians will be looking to continue that progress in Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg at Bayern’s Allianz Arena, hoping to emulate Arsenal’s display in the last 16 when the Londoners snatched a shock 2-0 win.

Barca’s PSG test
Paris:  Paris St Germain’s mission to be considered one of Europe’s top clubs faces its toughest test yet when they host Barcelona in an intriguing Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/4/02_04_pg22b.jpg

Barcelona, having recovered from a first-leg stumble in their last-16 tie against AC Milan to qualify for the last eight 4-2 on aggregate, are widely considered favourites to win the trophy for the fourth time in eight seasons at Wembley in May.

PSG, who saw off Valencia in the last 16, believe however that this could be a turning point in their climb to the peak of the European game.

The wealthy French club, under experienced coach Carlo Ancelotti, are on course for their first domestic title for 18 years as well as being in the last eight of the Champions League after an 18-year absence.

They go into Tuesday’s tie, however, as underdogs for the first time this season - and will do well to survive it.


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