Bayern Munich are out for revenge against a Juventus team which beat them twice in the group stages last season.
“They are in great shape,” coach Felix Magath said of a Juve team which has won every game so far this season.
“Last season they beat us twice because they defended brilliantly. But right now, they are even stronger up front. So they are the favourites on Tuesday, and perhaps even for the title.”
Bayern ill be hoping that striker Roy Makaay regains his scoring touch tonight. The Dutch predator has not scored for 51 days, although Magath remains optimistic that he could make the difference against Juve.
“He is the man for us on the European stage and he carries our hopes,” said Magath.
“This match is a duel between two sides belonging to Europe’s élite,” said Magath.
“They have some of the best players in the world. Individually, they are better than us.”
Bayern will be pleased to see that French duo Bixente Lizarazu and Willy Sagnol have recovered from injuries. Sebastian Deisler (calf) and Zé Roberto (groin) have also returned to training and are likely additions to Magath’s squad, but Owen Hargreaves remains out with flu.
Juventus coach Fabio Capello has more serious injury concerns.
“Patrick Vieira and Jonathan Zebina have not even travelled to Munich,” Capello said.
In their absences, Lilian Thuram and David Trezeguet should be asked to play despite having been rated doubtful themselves with minor injuries.
“Being without Vieira and Zebina is bad for us. But I am convinced our team spirit is strong enough to compensate for that,” Capello added.
Capello has plenty of respect for his opponents.
“Bayern seem much stronger in defence this season. It will be more difficult for us to win compared to last season.”