Group A Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Louis van Gaal has urged his Bayern Munich players to build on their Matchday 1 victory and consolidate their two-point lead at the top of Champions League Group A when they entertain Juventus tonight.
While the Dutchman is eager for his players to “make the most of the advantage” they already have.
“We won the first game [against Maccabi Haifa] but now we have to beat Juventus,” said Van Gaal. “It’s important to make the most of the advantage we already have. Of course Juve are stronger if Diego plays. [Christian] Poulsen would play in his place, but Diego has more quality.
“Juve are a top international team, with individual class. They are one of the best teams in Serie A and they have a very good mixture of older players with a lot of experience and younger ones with technical class.
“It is going to be a tough game, it always is against Italian teams. They are always very well-organised, but Bayern can beat them. You always face ups and downs in your career.
“We lost against Hamburg, but we are improving and that takes time. I usually train the brains more than the legs of the players and for some of them that is not always easy to understand but in the end they will be more successful.”
Van Gaal, who is without the injured trio of Martín Demichelis, Mark van Bommel and Luca Toni, hopes to have both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben available after the pair missed training on Tuesday.
Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara said that his team were fighting on behalf of the whole of Serie A as they look to ensure that Italy retains its allotted four Champions League places.
“This year the Italian teams have to fight to avoid losing one of our Champions League spots,” he said. “Against German sides you can always expect very hard games and you have to concentrate until the last second, you have always to fight until the final whistle. If we stay focused and compete physically then we can even win this game – if not, we don’t have a chance.
“Bayern will try to get another three points which would be a great advantage for them in this group, but I want my team to play without fear. The boys know exactly what the game is all about, I really do not have to motivate them.
“When we watched the draw it was quite special to get Bayern. They have players like Olic, Robben and Ribery, guys who can decide a game on their own. Furthermore their coach knows exactly what he is doing so you never know what to expect when you face Bayern Munich.”