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Bayern promise committed, professional display

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Bayern promise committed, professional display

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:20 pm

"No!" chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge energetically declared when asked whether Bayern would simply go through the motions on their trip to the north-west of England. "We intend to give a decent account of ourselves," director of sport Christian Nerlinger confirmed in the build-up to FCB's final Champions League group fixture, the away clash with Manchester City on Wednesday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm CET on fcbayern.de Web Radio).

"Basically, we can take a relaxed approach, as we wrapped it up last time out. We're top of the group, and we've totally met expectations in the Champions League so far. But we're certainly not here to give anything away for free," Rummenigge said on Tuesday. "On the one hand, there are vital points in the UEFA ranking at stake, and on the other, the prize money for a win is €800,000, a nice Christmas bonus."

Bayern do not need a result at Etihad Stadium after securing first place in Group A with a game to spare, but the men from Munich are keen to maintain their good form and enhance their good reputation in the prestige clash with the English Premier League leaders. "And it's our duty too, because we must be fair to Napoli," the chairman pointed out. The Italians and City are locked in combat for second spot and a place in the last 16.

"We don't want to be accused of any lack of fairness," agreed Thomas Müller, "we'll do everything we can not to lose. And I really can't imagine we'll go into it with a 'who-cares?' mentality. Everyone knows we're already through to the next round, but there's no reason to let up and not cover the extra yard." Club captain Philipp Lahm backed the striker to the hilt: "We've come here looking for a result. We're elite sportsmen, so we want to win every match."

"It's not a friendly, and we'll be appropriately focused," commented Nerlinger, although the official admitted FCB are in a "comfortable position". Nevertheless, boss Jupp Heynckes demanded a professional attitude from his men: "My team will take this seriously, and we'll try everything we know to win the match."

However, against the side described by Nerlinger as "favourites to win the Premier League", Heynckes will be forced into line-up changes, as Arjen Robben and Toni Kroos have fallen victim to the flu and were late withdrawals from the squad. "I'd have liked Arjen to be with us. After such a long time out with injury, he needs matches," reflected the FCB coach, who had originally marked Robben in for a start.

Müller and Mario Gomez may also miss out, as the Germany pair are showing early flu symptoms of their own. Heynckes will leave his final selection calls until after training on Tuesday evening, or potentially the day of the match itself. "And I'll be making a couple of changes whatever happens," Heynckes announced, with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk reportedly "hungry" to return after suspension in the Bundesliga. "The players who come in will be hugely motivated," commented Daniel van Buyten.

The home side go into the game knowing nothing less than a win keeps alive their slim hopes of making the knockout stages. Even then, they are dependent on Napoli dropping points to bottom club Villarreal, who have lost all five matches so far. "But there's still everything to play for, and we can still do it," declared midfielder Yaya Touré, although ex-City man Van Buyten warned of FCB's intention to extinguish his former club's hopes: "We can knock out one of the favourites."
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