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'Sporting will push us to the limit'

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'Sporting will push us to the limit'

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:05 pm


On Champions League matchday three, Bayern could take a giant stride towards the first knockout round should they take all three points away to Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday evening (<b>Live in English from 8:30 pm CET on FCB Web Radio</b>). The German champions will be boosted by an impressive 4-2 victory over Hertha BSC Berlin at the weekend, a performance chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reckoned was his club's "best game of the season."

"It would be wonderful if we could just carry on like that, but I fear it will be more difficult in Lisbon than it was against Berlin," Rummenigge continued, insisting he would be satisfied with a draw in the Portuguese capital. "That would mean we stayed top of the group, and would qualify with a win at home to Lisbon."

<b>Magath expecting intriguing clash</b>

The men from Munich lead Group B with maximum points from two matches, ahead of Sporting (4), Spartak Moscow (1) and Inter Milan (0). However, general manager Uli Hoeneß warned his side to beware the team currently lying second in Portugal. "They beat Inter, and they have an ambitious young team. We must take them seriously. If we fail to do that, we've lost already."

Coach Felix Magath, buoyed by the recovery from minor injury of Mark van Bommel and Claudio Pizarro, agreed with the board director. "It's their second home match, so they'll be looking for the points they need to retain a chance of getting through. I believe it'll be a truly intriguing match which will push us to the limit."

<b>Few scoring chances</b>

The 53-year-old boss declared himself "very optimistic" about his side's chances at the Jose Alvalade stadium. "We're aiming to set off for home with all three points, and I'm confident that's what we'll achieve in Lisbon."

Magath declined to confirm he would retain a three-man front line. "Sporting think and operate very defensively, so scoring goals will be tough. We probably won't get many chances in Lisbon."

<b>Most challenging group opponents</b>

The coach may revert to the formation which proved so successful in Milan with two strikers and a narrow four-man midfield. "It's not up to us to take the initiative in Lisbon, so we're not obliged to play with three up front - although we could."

"Sporting are probably the most challenging opponents in our group," Rummenigge and Hoeneß warned. "It's important we don't lose, so we'll have to concentrate," the chairman continued. Hoeneß was more forthright in his point of view: "If we win, we're through."

<b>Probable line ups:</b>

<b>Sporting Lisbon:</b> Ricardo – Abel, Tolga, Tonel, Marco Caneira – Paredes – Nano, Romagnoli, Joao Moutunho – Liedson, Alecsandro

<b>Bayern Munich:</b> Kahn – Sagnol, Van Buyten, Lucio, Lahm – Van Bommel, Ottl, Demichelis (Pizarro), Schweinsteiger – Makaay, Podolski

<b>Referee:</b> Hauge (Norway)
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