Munich wary of Juve threat

Bayern Munich's Bundesliga form will count for nothing when they host Juventus in the quarter-final of the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 18:23   

Toni Kroos: No need for Bayern to fear Juve

Toni Kroos: No need for Bayern to fear Juve

Bayern are just one win away from clinching the title after setting a new club record of 10 consecutive league victories, culminating in Saturday's 9-2 humiliation of Hamburg.

They have scored 34 goals in that run of matches, conceding just six, but the Champions League is a different competition and, as Arsenal showed in their 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena in the last round, it's not as easy as they are making the Bundesliga appear this season.

"It's going to be a very high-quality game between two evenly-matched teams," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.

"It's going to be a typical Champions League quarter-final."

Bayern know enough about what that means having reached this stage of the competition four times in the past five years, progressing to the final twice.

And with the memory of last May's final defeat to Chelsea still very fresh in their minds, they will not be taking anything for granted in a tie they are once again favourites to win.

"Juventus are one of Europe's top teams," added Heynckes. "They are very Italian, yet they are also very creative.

"They are very strong physically. Antonio Conte has done a great job with them in recent years and you can see his signature on this side."

The last time Bayern failed to reach the last eight of the Champions League was when they were defeated in the first knockout round by Inter Milan in 2010/11.

Previously, AC Milan got the better of them in the 2006/07 quarter-finals while the Germany national team does not have the best of records against Italy either with much of Bayern's squad involved in the semi-final defeat to the Azzurri at Euro 2012.

That could suggest more struggles for Bayern against the Old Lady, but midfielder Toni Kroos does not reckon much of such statistics.

"The past doesn't matter," he said. "What's gone is gone. We don't care about Germany-Italy games, or our previous matches with Juve or Inter.

"What matters is the future and we are playing a great season. We are in really good form so we do not have to fear Juventus."

That sentiment was shared by attacking midfielder Thomas Muller, who said: "We are having a very strong season and we are confident as a team. I am looking forward to the game."

Juve flew to Munich on Sunday to acclimatise to the unseasonal conditions in the Bavarian capital.

Snow was falling over the Easter weekend and freezing temperatures are forecast on Tuesday night too, but the Bianconeri will be ready.

"We have studied Bayern as much as they have studied us," said coach Antonio Conte.

"We'll try to find defects in what is a very strong team, and we have to find situations to hurt them without letting them hurt us."

Conte has a doubt over the fitness of Mirko Vucinic, who missed the 2-1 win over Inter Milan at the weekend due to a virus, but he has no doubts about who is favourite at the Allianz Arena.

"We know we are the outsiders," he said. "And we know we are up against one of the favourites to win the Champions League, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid, but we deserve to be here and we are not going to be lambs to the slaughter."

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014
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