It's German power against Italian class as these two fight it out for precious points in Group A...
Kick Off: Wednesday September 30, 20:45CET, Munich
Bayern Munich Sole Leaders
Louis Van Gaal's lead group A from Bordeaux, Juventus and Maccabi Haifa following their 3-0 win over the Israeli side in match day one. Goals from Daniel Van Buyten and a double from Thomas Muller sealed maximum points and sent them top of the table. Such a convincing win is not expected against Juventus, though, as both teams come into this game having gained negative results at the weekend domestically.
Before their game at the weekend against Hamburg, the German side had won five on the bounce. Three of those wins were in the Bundesliga, one in the Champions League and the other was in the German Cup. It was a different story this weekend, however, as they lost away from home. Their record against Juve in this competition favours the Italian side. These teams have met four times previously with Bayern winning just one of the four encounters. That win was in October 2005 when the Germans won 2-1.
The Bundesliga outfit have scored just three goals against the Old Lady, conceeding five. Their coach has great Champions League experience. He won it in 1995 against Italian opponents Milan, and then lost to Juventus the following year. It was Ciro Ferrara who scored one of the penalties in the Olimpico final to help his side lift the trophy. A win will see Bayern establish a strong hold on the group, but Juve will want to have their say in Germany.
Juventus Looking Wobbly Heading To Germany
The Bianconeri's super start domestically has slowed right down in the last seven days. A 2-2 draw against Genoa on Thursday was followed up by a 1-1 result against Bologna at the Olimpico in Turin on Sunday afternoon. On a positive note, the game saw Diego's return from injury. He will be heading back to Germany for this first time since leaving Werder Bremen for the Old Lady in the summer.
Having drawn with Bordeaux in round one, the pressure is growing on the Turin-based giants. Anything less than a win in the Allianz Arena will put their Champions League credentials come under scrutiny. Bordeaux face what looks like an easy tie at home to Maccabi and both Bayern and the French outfit could make good ground on Juve if they fail here. A negative result will not be welcomed back home. Juve are aiming for success in this competition, and this game will provide a test of their ambition.
Ferrara will take comfort from Juve's record against Bayern. But they have only won once in Germany in two attempts. Of the three wins, two of those were in Turin. Ferrara was part of the team that beat the Germans in Italy in 2004. That game ended 1-0 with Pavel Nedved scoring the winner. Interestingly, Nedved was at Vinovo on Monday morning and he would have given his former team-mates some good advice on how to tackle the task in hand.
September 22 v Rot Weiss Oberhausen (H) - WON 5-0 (German Cup)
September 19 v Nurnberg (H) - WON 2-1 (Bundesliga)
September 15 v Maccabi Haifa (A) - WON 3-0 (Champions League)
September 12 v Dortmund (A) - WON 5-1 (Bundesliga)
August 29 v Wolfsburg (H) - WON 3-0 (Bundesliga)
September 27 v Bologna (H) - DREW 1-1 (Serie A)
September 23 v Genoa (A) - DREW 2-2 (Serie A)
September 19 v Livorno (H) - WON 2-0 (Serie A)
September 15 v Bordeaux (H) - DREW 1-1 (Champions League)
September 12 v Lazio (A) - WON 0-2 (Serie A)
Martin Demichelis (ankle) and Mark Van Bommel (Toe) are both out injured and will miss the game. Luca Toni has recently returned from injury, but he is unlikely to start. There are no suspensions for van Gaal to deal with.
Probable Starting XI: Butt; Lahm, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Braafheid; Altintop, Tymoshchuk, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Gomez, Ribery
Alessandro Del Piero and Diego will fight each other for a starting role, after both returned from injury at the weekend. Mohamed Sissoko, former Bayern man Hasan Salihamidzic, Fabio Cannavaro and Tiago are all out injured. Giorgio Chiellini returns after missing the Bordeaux clash through suspension.
Probable Starting XI: Buffon; Zebina, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Grosso; Poulsen, Felipe Melo, Marchisio, Diego; Amauri, Trezeguet.
Players To Watch
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
The French ace has been in hot form recently and he will be hoping to add to his 4 previous Champions League goals tally. The Bianconeri will need to be wide awake against the former Marseille man.
Diego (Juventus) The Bianconeri raise their game when the Brazilian performs his magic. He is in line to make his first Champions League appearance for the Old Lady having missed the Bordeaux clash through injury. He will want to impress here.
With an expected sell out crowd in Germany, Juventus will be playing against 12 men. Both teams have quality in abundance. German power meets Italian class in a game that promises plenty of tough play and skill. Hard work, organisation and tactics will be the order of the day. Don't expect massive goal margins here. A draw looks most likely.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Juventus
Salvatore Landolina, Goal.com