Fiorentina entertain Bayern Munich aware that a victory is required if they are to reach the Champions League knockout stage.
Bayern lead Group F with seven points ahead of Lyon on five, Fiorentina with two and Steaua Bucurest on one. A repeat win for Bayern after their 3-0 victory against Cesare Prandelli’s side two weeks ago, along with Lyon avoiding defeat by Steaua, would ensure the Bundesliga club reach the last 16. For Fiorentina, the statistics paint a bleak picture, but Prandelli is convinced his players will rise to the occasion.
“In the away game, Bayern showed us they are an international side,” he said. “But Wednesday will be a very different game. We owe it to ourselves and to our fans to put on a big performance and I’m confident we’ll do that. We’ve got to go into it properly. Without fear or second thoughts, but with all the enthusiasm of a team who want to get better. We’ve got nothing to lose.”
Bayern, after embarking on a run of five wins which has lifted them to third place in the Bundesliga, will not be short of confidence. However, they will be without former Fiorentina striker Luca Toni, who misses out with bruised ribs and a stomach muscle problem, while defender Philipp Lahm has an ankle injury.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is upbeat about Bayern’s prospects.
“We’re on form, and we’ve been in good shape in the Bundesliga,” he said. “We know it’s going to be difficult, that Fiorentina are a good side, and that they will have their fans behind them. But we’re ready.
“Fiorentina have to win and, for us, the situation is completely different from what we’ve faced in our last three Bundesliga matches where teams have mainly tried to defend,” he said. “Our character is to go forward and look for goals, and Fiorentina have to do the same. It’s probably going to be a very open, attacking game.”