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Countdown to the big match in Basel

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Countdown to the big match in Basel

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:50 pm

The clock is ticking down to the biggest match in FC Basel's history, when the Swiss champions take on Bayern in front of a full house at their home St Jakob Park at 8.45 pm CET this evening. With the excitement reaching fever pitch in the city situated at the point where Switzerland, France and Germany meet, fcbayern.de brings you the very latest news from the build-up and a flavour of the pre-match excitement.

Basel v Bayern: Matchday latest

Xherdan Shaqiri:
"Shaq, blow them away!" screamed the lead sports headline in Swiss tabloid Blick this morning. Basel's hopes rest squarely on the future Munich man, whose nicknames include 'Magic Dwarf' and 'Power Cube'. "We'll have to be perfect, like we were against Manchester," said the 20-year-old, "we'll have to give it everything, not just for 90, but for 95 minutes."

Jupp Heynckes reckons there is no danger of the occasion getting to the youngster. "The way I know him, he'll try and turn in a really good performance," said the coach, revealing a candid phone call with the versatile midfielder: "He said I'd have to show understanding when he scores. I told him we'll be stopping him."

Shaqiri himself said he "would not shy away" from scoring a decisive goal, a sentiment underlined by home boss Heiko Vogel: "He'll give everything for us in both matches. He's a solid character and obsessed with football."

Atmosphere:
Basel is in uproar ahead of the historic encounter. "Everyone is looking forward to it, not just the team, but the entire city and the whole region," Shaqiri noted.

"It's the last 16 in the Champions League. We've never had that in Switzerland before," home captain Marco Streller stated. "The thrill of it is bigger than the pressure," insisted keeper Yann Sommer. It's a sentiment shared by the good citizens of Basel: German guests are finding themselves quizzed about this evening's match by strangers on the street and even the hotel staff.

Line-ups:
Bayern are without injured foursome Bastian Schweinsteiger, Daniel van Buyten, Diego Contento and Breno. The home side are missing Scott Chipperfield, Kay Voser and Gilles Yapi with injury, and Genséric Kusunga, who is ill. On the plus side, former Borussia Dortmund full-back Philipp Degen returns to the squad after a hamstring injury. Swiss media are predicting this Basel line up:

Sommer - Steinhöfer, Abraham, Dragovic, Park - Huggel, Xhaka - Shaqiri, Stocker (Fabian Frei) - Streller, Alex Frei

Weather:
It's a glorious day in Basel, with sunny skies and air temperatures of around 8°C. However, forecasters say it will fall below freezing again at the stadium tonight.

Stadium:
St Jakob Park will be full to its 36,000 capacity, with Bayern's travelling support numbering some 1,800. The compact ground, featuring a partially illuminated facade and known locally as Joggeli, was designed by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the architects for Munich's Allianz Arena.

Reunions:
  • Xherdan Shaqiri is joining Bayern in the summer
  • Heiko Vogel spent nine years as a Munich youth coach
  • Markus Steinhöfer is a Bayern youth product and made 57 appearances for the reserves
  • Mario Gomez and Philipp Lahm played alongside Basel skipper Streller for Stuttgart. "I'm friends with Strelli. He's a friendly, nice guy," said Gomez, "I hope he'll be friendly on Wednesday evening and not play as well as he's done recently."
  • David Alaba spent time in the Austria Vienna youth section with Basel centre back Aleksandar Dragovic, and the pair play together for their national team. "He's one of my best friends. We've known each other for nearly a decade," Dragovic revealed.
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Re: Countdown to the big match in Basel

Postby Payam » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:45 pm

FCBayernNews wrote:David Alaba spent time in the Austria Vienna youth section with Basel centre back Aleksandar Dragovic, and the pair play together for their national team. "He's one of my best friends. We've known each other for nearly a decade," Dragovic revealed.


Well, this explain why Alaba looked so worried for him when he kicked his face in yesterday.
I'll paint any car for 3.95.
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