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Determined FCB target second Group E win

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Determined FCB target second Group E win

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:30 pm

Six games into the Bundesliga season, Bayern are fighting to stay in touch with the leading group, but in Europe, Louis van Gaal's men are leading from the front thanks to an opening day success at home to AS Roma. The second Champions League Group E fixture sees Munich visit Swiss champions FC Basel on Tuesday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm CET on Web Radio), where a win would take FCB another step towards the knockout stages.

"We started out with three points in the Champions League, and we want to build on that now," said Philipp Lahm on the eve of the clash between the two double-winning FCBs at St. Jakob Park. "It's terrific when you go a long way in the Champions League, as we found out last season. If we can lay down a marker and win in Basel, and start with six points from two games, it would be worth its weight in gold," Lahm continued.

However, Bayern will need to put a poor display in losing 2-1 at home to Mainz behind them and recapture something of their best form. "One of the great things about football is that you can put things right just three days later. And we have to put things right, because our performance on Saturday wasn't good enough for the Champions League," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warned after the defeat to Mainz.

"We've given ourselves a very good foundation by winning at home to Roma. We shouldn't throw that away now," echoed director of sport Christian Nerlinger, "Basel will be highly motivated. It's the biggest game of the season for them." A 38,512 crowd will pack St. Jakob Park to capacity, "and it'll be a small cauldron," said Lahm. "There will definitely be a very hostile atmosphere, so it certainly won't be easy for us," offered Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Five men out injured

"We certainly start as favourites, but we know playing in Basel is a dangerous task," agreed Lahm. The home side, coached by former Bayern star Thorsten Fink, are certain to invest all they have and more, Schweinsteiger noted: "Most teams are even more motivated than normal when they play Bayern, and it'll be the case with Basel. So the challenge to us is to find even more from within ourselves."

Van Gaal, who extended his stay in Munich until June 2012 on Monday, will focus on rebuilding his team's morale following the weekend defeat. "We'll need a lot of belief in ourselves against Basel. It's always difficult after you've lost." The task against the side lying second in the Swiss top flight is made no easier for FCB by the loss of five players to injury.

Echoes of Turin?

"But we can't use that as an excuse," advised captain Mark van Bommel. Indeed, Munich have previously proved their ability to thrive in Europe even without Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben, most impressively in last season's 4-1 success away to Juventus. "Maybe it'll be a turning point like Turin," Van Bommel mused. Thomas Müller reckoned a decent showing in Basel "could give us the boost we need for the Bundesliga."

Van Gaal's new deal could well provide the players with new inspiration, and the coach is optimistic in any case. "I hope we can take a step forward tomorrow, not just in the Champions League, but also with respect to the Bundesliga," the Dutch supremo commented. "If we win and win well, it could be a turning point."
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