Two weeks before the winter break the Champions League anthem will ring out at the Allianz Arena one last time in 2016. FC Bayern take on the previous year’s finalists Atlético Madrid in the last group match on Tuesday evening (Live in English from 20.45 CET in our Live Ticker and FCBayern.tv free web radio).
“Matches against Atlético are always important, they’re one of the best teams in Europe,” declared FCB coach Carlo Ancelotti in Munich on Monday. The final group match will not have any impact on the table as the Spaniards have already won Group D and the Bavarians are certain to finish second. “Unfortunately we haven’t achieved what we planned,” Ancelotti commented.
‘The motivation is very high’
It is the first time since the 2009/10 season that Munich have failed to win their Champions League group. However, later in the same season they advanced to the final in Madrid. If that does not count as a good omen, it is all the more important to win the match against the side lying fourth in La Liga. “Following the last few victories we want to carry on and turn in a good display tomorrow,” according to Ancelotti: “It’ll be important for our confidence.”
The Italian has no concerns about his players’ desire and passion. “The motivation is very high when you take on such strong opponents,” Ancelotti explained. “We want to win the match because we can’t be satisfied with our Champions League campaign so far,” added Mats Hummels.
“Bayern Munich haven’t won very often against Atlético over the last few years, so it would be nice if we proved to ourselves we can beat them,” the centre-back declared. The Spaniards left the pitch as winners in two of the last three clashes, knocking out Bayern in last year’s semi-finals.
Ancelotti has to make do without Jérôme Boateng on Tuesday. The defender has a shoulder problem and “isn’t available,” reported the 57-year-old, who announced he would make some changes to the starting line-up. Ancelotti indicated he would field “fresh players,” expecting a match with “high rhythm and high intensity.”