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Looking forward to 'a good battle and crunching tackles'

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Looking forward to 'a good battle and crunching tackles'

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:50 pm

It was cold on Monday morning in Munich. Wrapped up in scarves and hats, the Bayern squad took to the field at Säbener Straße for their final training session before the Champions League last 16 first leg against Besiktas .When the Turkish champions visit the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening (live ticker and Webradio commentary from 20:45 CET), the temperatures outside won’t be any more pleasant – but it’ll get heated on the pitch.

“It’ll be a really good battle at a high level. We can look forward to some good crunching tackles; that’s what you want in a football game,” said Mats Hummels, who couldn’t hide his excitement in the press conference on the day before the game. On top of that, there’s a lot at stake: a good position in the fight for a place in the quarter-finals.

Nerves despite experience

“We’re really excited to get going. The knockout stage is always a special stage of the competition,” added the centre-back. It’s no different for his coach. “The tension grows as the game gets nearer. Nerves are normal, even if you’ve experienced these kinds of games as a player and a coach,” said Jupp Heynckes, confessing a slight nervousness to the assembled press.

However, this is something you need in order to “keep your concentration high”, according to the 72 year-old, who believes that Besiktas will demand everything of FCB. “Every opposition can be a stumbling block,” he warned. “Besiktas are packed with international experience. They’re well organised defensively and know how to counter well.”

Good mood despite hard decisions

In particular, their two meetings with RB Leipzig in the group stage “impressed” the Bayern boss. “They can play well out of defence – if you let them.” And that’s exactly what it will come down to: stopping Besiktas from getting into the game with good coordination. “Balance is the most important thing overall in football. Everyone needs to do their bit at both ends,” commented Hummels.                              

The record German champions are doing that well at the moment, which is also linked to the mood in the camp. “We support each other and have a very good togetherness. That’s important,” stated the 29 year-old. The current personnel situation won’t change that.

For Heynckes will be spoilt for choice when he picks his team. Other than long-term absentee Manuel Neuer, all players are available. “There’ll certainly be a few people who are disappointed when the line-up is announced,” admitted Hummels, who reminded his teammates of their duty. “It’s our job to deal with it sensibly. We have to fulfil our duty to the team,” he added in response to the question of possible rotation. It seems, therefore, that staying cool is the motto for this last 16 first leg.
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