Spartak Moscow’s interest in European football is not completely over for the season, but the Russian side must take something from this game if they are to retain a chance of a Uefa Cup spot.
Coach Vladimir Fedotov hopes his team do not suffer the same problems they endured in their previous Champions League encounter. Then, they had to abandon their team coach which had been caught up in the Moscow traffic, and travel by Metro to reach the ground in time for kick-off, with Fedotov giving his team talk on the train.
“At noon we will travel from our base in Tarasovka to the stadium and will spend the remaining time at the nearby Hotel Olimpia,” Fedotov said ahead of Wednesday’s game with group leaders Bayern.
Fedotov may be forced to turn to third-choice goalkeeper Aleksei Zuev as Wojciech Kowalewski is suffering from concussion and Dmitri Khomich has an injured hip, while midfielder Maxym Kalynychenko is banned and winger Nikita Bazhenov misses out with a back injury.
Fedetov is looking forward to facing German champions, who should be close to full strength despite being guaranteed a place in the knockout stages.
“It is always a pleasure to play top-class opposition and see our real strength,” Fedotov said. “Bayern are a top-class European outfit, a football machine that does not forgive any mistakes.”
For Bayern, victory would guarantee top spot in the group, and only Philipp Lahm will be rested from Felix Magath’s lineup. Owen Hargreaves, Lucio and Lukas Podolski all injured, Sebastian Deisler could make a return to European football after a lay off with a knee injury.
“Winning this game is important for us as we want to top the group,” said Magath. “So we are aiming to play attacking football, which is probably the plan for Spartak as well, so at least the fans should see an interesting game.”
“I have seen Spartak’s home matches and have to say that they played really well against Sporting and Inter,” he added. “But the visiting teams also adapted well to the artificial surface, so I hope this will be the case with us as well.”
Aleksei Zuev; Roman Shishkin, Geder, Martin Jiránek, Martin Stranzl; Vladimir Bystrov, Mozart, Yegor Titov, Radoslav Ková?, Denis Boyarintsev; Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Oliver Kahn; Willy Sagnol, Daniel Van Buyten, Martín Demichelis, Christian Lell; Andreas Ottl; Mark van Bommel, Hasan Salihamidži?; Bastian Schweinsteiger; Roy Makaay, Claudio Pizarro.