‘Hungry’ Bayern out to see off Basel
Bayern Munich host FC Basel on Tuesday needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from their Champions League round of 16 first-leg match, while the Swiss side are looking to claim another major scalp. FixturesUpdated: Mar 13, 2012 03:11 IST
Bayern Munich host FC Basel on Tuesday needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit from their Champions League round of 16 first-leg match, while the Swiss side are looking to claim another major scalp.
Basel ended Manchester United's involvement in this season's campaign when they beat Sir Alex Ferguson's side in Switzerland last December, then proved it was no fluke with victory over Bayern at St Jakob Park stadium three weeks ago.
Although Bayern have a 100 percent home record in three games against Swiss opposition in the Champions League, Basel bring a deserved 1-0 aggregate lead to Munich's Allianz Arena after Valentin Stocker's 86th-minute winner.
Having won only five of their 10 matches since Christmas, Bayern enjoyed a confidence-boosting 7-1 hammering of Hoffenheim on Saturday in the Bundesliga, with Germany striker Mario Gomez netting a hat-trick in the rout.
“That will give us a boost. I am confident the squad has that hunger again,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. “That was important for Tuesday.”
Make no mistake: Bayern's season will be deemed a failure by their bosses unless they reach the quarter-finals, especially with Munich to host the final on May 19, and defeat on Tuesday could have profound consequences.
“Basel is a very important game for the way the rest of the season will run. We have to do that again against Basel,” Munich president Uli Hoeness said after the Hoffenheim win.
While Bayern may have got their swagger back following last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, Basel, under ex-Bayern youth coach Heiko Vogel, are currently dominating Swiss football.
Inter seek redemption
Inter Milan coach Claudio Ranieri believes it would be a crying shame if his improving side fail to overturn their 1-0 deficit in Tuesday's last-16 second leg at home to Olympique Marseille.
Inter won their first match in 10 games in all competitions when two late goals sealed a 2-0 Serie A victory at Chievo Verona on Friday and Ranieri was so overjoyed he had tears in his eyes.
While 2010 champions Inter are digging themselves out of a hole, Marseille have slipped into the mire with four straight defeats since their first-leg win and Ranieri sees an opportunity.
“Emotion is the most beautiful thing. I do this job to feel emotions, both positive and negative, but to tell the truth the positive ones are better,” he said.
Inter will be without suspended defender Cristian Chivu while centre back Andrea Ranocchia and midfielder Ricardo Alvarez are injured.
First Published: Mar 13, 2012 00:38 IST