Bayern Munich are desperate for the win as they look to overhaul Juventus and top Group A.
“If we manage to score an early opener, we will not just sit back and relax – we will continue to apply the pressure because we need a convincing result to top the group,” said Bayern coach Felix Magath.
“We know it’s not easy to win any Champions League game so our immediate priority is to collect three points, and then start thinking about how many goals we might score,” he said.
“I expect Rapid to be stronger than in our first meeting (won 1-0 by Bayern). They’re in good shape at the moment and there’s not one Austrian who doesn’t want to beat a German. That’s enough motivation for them.”
Magath will be without influential playmaker Michael Ballack who misses out with a thigh injury, while Mehmet Scholl is also unavailable with a similar problem. Winger Ze Roberto could play after recovering from a muscle strain, and Philipp Lahm is available after recovering from a cruciate injury.
Rapid coach Josef Hickersberger – who will become the next coach of Austria’s national team on 1 January – harked back to a World Cup encounter between the two countries.
“This really reminds me of Cordoba at Argentina ’78,” he said.
“The Germans thought they would beat us 5-0 to reach the final, but in the end they lost 3-2. Austrian football lives in the shadow of such glories, and tomorrow we have a chance to change that.”
Hickersberger was boosted by the news that Ballack and others will be unavailable.
“I’m relieved none of them will be on the pitch on Tuesday, especially Ballack who could have caused us a lot of problems; he is a truly world-class player,” said the Rapid coach.
Rapid are without injured duo Axel Lawaree and Marcin Adamski but remain upbeat about their chances.
“We’re aware that they haven’t lost a match at this new stadium and that’s our challenge,” said Hickersberger. “We know it’s always hard to beat Bayern but anybody who thinks that my players will not fight for the complete 90 minutes does not know them.”
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