The big-match atmosphere could already be felt at the Allianz Arena on the day before the game. On the pitch, where the freshly-laid green grass stood firm against the rain; in the tunnel, where the Champions League logos can be seen everywhere; and in the media centre, where first Carlo Ancelotti and Mats Hummels of Bayern and then PSV’s Phillip Cocu and Daniel Schwaab gave their thoughts on the Group D clash.
“The stadium is already lit up red, the excitement is starting to build,” said Schwaab, who moved from VfB Stuttgart to the Netherlands in the summer. “I have played at the Allianz Arena a number of times and it’s always something special. But now, with the Champions League atmosphere – this is something else! As a footballer these are the games you live for,” said the centre-back, who has recently established himself as a regular for the 23-time Dutch champions.‘The chances are very slim’
PSV coach Cocu did not want to reveal the tactics he would be deploying with Schwaab and Co. However the former Dutch international did hint that they would not just sit back and defend. “If you only try to defend against Bayern, they will find gaps with the individual quality they have,” said the coach. One such player is Arjen Robben, who made his name at PSV after joining as an 18 year-old. “He’s a good player,” said Cocu, “but it’s a game against Bayern Munich and not just Arjen Robben.”
One man who knows both clubs well is Mark van Bommel, former Bayern and PSV player and now a youth coach at Eindhoven. “The chances for Eindhoven are very slim but you never know,” said the former captain of both sides. PSV possess strikers that are strong in the air, including former Gladbach man Luuk de Jong, and pacey wingers, but “if Bayern play to their usual level, they will win.” Schwaab still believes his team can do well. “We showed against Atlético that we can defend well against the top teams but also create opportunities. It will be difficult but we’ll go looking for chances.”