Bayern Munich - Valencia Preview: Beaten finalists look for three points at home
Having come so close before falling to Chelsea on penalties, the German giants will face a tough test against Pellegrino's charges, who are missing some key names in midfield
By Daniel Edwards
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Badstuber
Shaqiri, Muller, Ribery
Pereira, Rami, Ruiz, Cissokho
Parejo, T Costa
Feghouli, Jonas, Viera
Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes is spoilt for choice in his squad, especially going forward. Javi Martinez will be desperate to continue the form he showed for Athletic Bilbao throughout the Basques' Europa League run in the colours of his new side, and could make an appearance ahead of Luis Gustavo.
Peru international Claudio Pizarro, meanwhile, barely featured at the weekend against Mainz after featuring in two matches for his country, but will hope to feature at some point against Mauricio Pellegrino's men.
Valencia midfielder Fernando Gago missed out against Celta after suffering a crunching blow to the head while on duty with Argentina, a blow which saw the ex-Roma and Real Madrid star stay in hospital under observation. He returned to Valencia only on Monday evening, and will now miss out against Bayern.
With David Albelda and Ever Banega also on the casualty list, Tino Costa and Daniel Parejo are likely to continue in the middle.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Bayern are tied with Barcelona as the fourth-most successful side in European football, having lifted the Champions League/European Cup on four occasions - their last triumph coming in 2001.
- With five second-place finishes, meanwhile, no team has fallen at the final hurdle as often as the Bavarians.
- Die Roten will be hoping to go one step further than in 2012, after seeing their dreams of a fifth title go up in smoke with a shoot-out defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
- Valencia have never won Europe's premier club competition; falling at the final hurdle twice, in 1999-00 and 2000-01.
- In 2001, Bayern ended Che dreams of a first Champions League, winning on penalties thanks to a missed kick from current coach Pellegrino (right).
- As well as Bayern Munich, Valencia will take on Lille and BATE Borisov in Group F of the Champions League.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Bayern München 3-0 Valencia CF
- 19.63 %
FC Bayern München 3-1 Valencia CF
- 19.17 %
FC Bayern München 2-0 Valencia CF
- 14.4 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 20, 2012||Valencia CF 1 - FC Bayern München 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Sep 19, 2012||FC Bayern München 2 - Valencia CF 1|
|FC Bayern München|
|Dec 17, 2013||Guangzhou Evergrande 0 - FC Bayern München 3||CWC|
|Dec 14, 2013||FC Bayern München 3 - Hamburg 1||GER1|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Bayern München 2 - Manchester City FC 3||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Werder Bremen 0 - FC Bayern München 7||GER1|
|Dec 4, 2013||FC Augsburg 0 - FC Bayern München 2||GERC|
|18||Jose Andrés Guardado||Midfielder|
The dynamic midfielder makes the difference in Bayern whenever he is on the field with his tireless work-rate and intelligent distribution. If he can impose himself on Valencia's weakened midfield the Germans are halfway to winnning.
The goalkeeper kept two clean sheets for Brazil in the recent international break, and knows that more impressive performances will strengthen his claim for a regular place. A brilliant shot-stopper, who could be key to Valencia taking something from Munich.
Valencia will not be an easy prospect for the Bavarians, but the quality Heynckes possesses across the park should be enough to secure a narrow victory.