Bayern Munich are hoping that the first European game at their new Allianz Arena stadium Arena will live up to the standard set in the old Olympiastadion.
Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is looking forward to tonight’s encounter with Club Brugge.
“This match is something special,” said captain Kahn.
“Of course, we are hungry to get three points in our first Champions League tie in our new Arena. For us, this is a new chapter. This stadium makes me feel as if I am playing for a new club.”
However, Bayern coach Felix Magath has one or two injury headaches to contend with.
English international Owen Hargreaves has not recovered fully from his muscle injury and is expected to miss out, while strikers Claudio Pizarro (thigh) and Roque Santa Cruz (calf) are also doubtful.
José Paolo Guerrero, who scored the only goal in the 1-0 win over Rapid Viennais expected to start tonight.
“He is in great shape and I tend to let him start,” said Magath, who has not written off tonight’s opponents.
“They are physically very strong and defend well,” he said. “If we think we can afford to give less than 100 per cent, we will definitely get an upset.”
Club Brugge have problems of their own. Jan Ceulemans’s side could be severely depleted by injury. Philippe Clement, Michael Klukowski and Günther Vanaudenaerde are unlikely to figure, while Jason Vandelannoite and Marek Spliar are doubts.
“In such a situation, I have to trust my experienced players to lead the team,” Ceulemans said.
“There’s no doubt about them being the favourites,” he said. “But we will try to make the best out of this situation. It is a motivation for us to play at Bayern.”
Better news for Ceulemans is that captain Gert Verheyen is back from suspension and will play his 100th European club match.