Bayern confident of comeback vs Basel
MUNICH - The Associated Press
Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben (C) celebrates with striker Mario Gomez (R) after scoring one of the team’s during the team’s seven-goal win over Hoffenheim. AP photoAfter putting seven goals past Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich is confident it can overcome a one-goal deficit to FC Basel in the Champions League tonight.
The Swiss champion holds a slim advantage going into the second leg of their round of 16 tie thanks to substitute Valentin Stocker’s 86th-minute winner at St. Jakob Park.
But Bayern thrashed Hoffenheim 7-1 last weekend in its 900th Bundesliga win to lift sagging morale after a difficult start to the year that had yielded only three wins from six league games.
“This will give us a push for Tuesday. We know we have to make good a one-goal deficit,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. “We’re capable of scoring goals.” After boasting of “textbook goals,” ‘’sublime football” and “a frenzy,” however, Heynckes warned that “Basel won’t make it as easy for us as Hoffenheim did.” Basel ousted Manchester United in the biggest upset of the group stage, but progression is seen as mandatory for three-time winner Bayern with the Champions League final to be played In Munich on May 19.
“I’m confident because the Hoffenheim game came at the right time,” Heynckes said yesterday.
Bayern’s problems this season have come away from home but its record at home is impressive, with 16 wins from 18 games.
The Bavarians’ home record in the Champions League is no less formidable, with 11 wins from its last 12 appearances in Munich in the competition.
However, Basel is unbeaten away from home in the Champions League this season, and on the road in all competitions since August.
Basel coach Heiko Vogel will be familiar with several Bayern players, having coached Mueller, Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Toni Kroos and Diego Contento during his time as Bayern’s youth coach from 1998 to 2007.
“It’s obligatory for Bayern to progress against us,” Vogel told yesterday’s edition of German daily Bild.
“It’s not a battle of equals. It’s a David vs. Goliath duel, and the Goliath should really progress. But we’re still waiting to see how it looks after the game on Tuesday.”