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Group B

Bayern Munich are looking to get their Group B campaign off to a winning start against Spartak Moscow.

Bayern coach Felix Magath has warned that his players are not at their sharpest following the enforced international break.

“It will be a tough game and the onus is on us to collect the points because we’re at home,” he said.

“It’d be great to get an early goal but if we don’t manage that then we’ll have to be patient. I can’t guarantee a flowing festival of football because with international commitments the players simply haven’t had enough time to gel.”

“Russian teams are always difficult,” he said. “They’re unpredictable and have a habit of exceeding expectations. Spartak are a good side and players like [Yegor] Titov can’t be underestimated.”

Magath could select in-form Lukas Podolski drafted into the starting XI.

The Germany striker is yet to start for Bayern since joining from Cologne in the summer, but followed up four goals in San Marino last Wednesday with the equaliser against St. Pauli having come on for Roy Makaay at half-time.

Titov returned to action at the weekend after fracturing his skull in the second qualifying round triumph against FC Sheriff. He helped his team come from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at arch-rivals CSKA Moscow.

Coach Vladimir Fedotov believes the game was perfect preparation for the Bayern tie.

“CSKA are very similar [to Bayern] – packed with big-name players,” he said. “The derby was emotional, hard fought and played in front of a packed stadium. Tuesday will be similar.”

Fedotov is without the suspended Maxym Kalinichenko but he remains optimistic that his side can spring a surprise in Germany.

“We need to respect Bayern but we’ve nothing to fear as we have talent of our own,” he said.

Probable teams
Oliver Kahn; Philipp Lahm, Lucio, Daniel Van Buyten, Willy Sagnol; Mark van Bommel, Martín Demichelis, Hasan Salihamid_i_, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Roy Makaay, Roque Santa Cruz/Lukas Podolski.

Wojciech Kowalewski; Geder, Martin Jiránek, Clemente Rodríguez, Martin Stranzl; Radoslav Kovác, Mozart, Yegor Titov, Vladimir Bystrov; Roman Pavlyuchenko, Fernando Cavenaghi.

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