Apr 26, 2016

    Bayern 'have to fight for every centimetre' in Madrid


    BAYERN Munich are preparing for a tough fight in tomorrow night's Champions League semi-final, first leg, with coach Pep Guardiola bracing for a battle royal at Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

    Bayern hold a seven-point lead in Germany's top flight and warmed up for their Madrid mission with a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday as Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa supplied the goals.

    Bayern will claim a record fourth straight Bundesliga title if they overcome Borussia Moenchengladbach at home on Saturday but first they need to tackle Atletico at Madrid's Estadio Vicente Calderon stadium.

    Guardiola made seven changes to his starting line-up in Berlin as his side produced just six shots on goal in the German capital, and he expects a tougher test in Madrid.

    "It will be a completely different game," said the Spaniard, who has now reached the last four of the Champions League seven times as a coach - four times with Barcelona and three with Bayern.

    "It's difficult to always play at 100 per cent and I understand if the players already had an eye on Wednesday's game against Atletico."

    Atletico are locked in a three-way battle with Barca and Real Madrid for the Spanish league title and Bayern need a good performance away to stand a chance ahead of the return leg on May 3.

    "We will have to fight for every centimetre and need to be switched on from the very first minute," said Bayern's World Cup winner Mario Goetze.

    Bayern rotated their squad in Berlin with centre-backs Medhi Benatia and Serdar Tasci unlikely to start in Madrid.

    Nevertheless, Bayern have not conceded a goal in their last three games since drawing 2-2 at Benfica in the quarter-finals of the Champions League a fortnight ago.

    Defensive midfielder Vidal is Bayern's man of the moment, having scored in each of their last two league games, plus netting home and away against Benfica in the quarter-finals of Europe.

    Bayern's hot-shot striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 38 goals this season, eight of which came in the Champions League.

    He is looking forward to taking on Atletico's back four, who have conceded only six goals in their 10 Champions League games so far.

    "I hope we can bring a good result back to Munich, I'm looking forward to it," said the Poland international.