FC Bayern München take a slim advantage into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Juventus at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The Bavarians looked to be cruising in the first leg in Turin last month after going two goals up with strikes from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben either side of half time, but the Bianconeri fought back superbly and goals from Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro would mean there would be everything to play for in the deciding leg.
The second half comeback not only gave Juventus a fighting chance of progressing in the competition, it will also have given them an unshakeable belief that they are more than a match for Bayern, even in the face of adversity.
The talk before the match reveals a lot about the mind sets of both sides with everyone involved with Juventus coming out fighting, saying they are going to take the game to the German champions, while the Bavarians have been more reserved and respectful going into the match.
The Italian champions have been in sensational form in 2016, last tasting defeat in December and having won all but two of their fixtures in all competitions this year.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) March 16, 2016
Surprisingly, this is not the case for Bayern Munich, who looked practically unbeatable in the first half of the season, but have struggled for consistency in the last few weeks.
Their last five games have included two wins, two draws and a loss, but their last game ended in a 5-0 rout of Werder Bremen, which could be the catalyst to the return of the Bayern of 2015.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 15, 2016
Both sides sit atop their respective domestic leagues and boast squads full of talent so expect a match full of excitement and drama, especially if there is an early goal for Juventus.
In team news Javi Martinez, Holger Badstuber are expected to miss the clash, while Jerome Boateng returned to training this week, but is also unlikely to feature.
Mario Mandzukic is expected to miss out for Juve after he was seen limping in their match against Sassuolo at the weekend, while Claudio Marchisio, Martin Caceres and Dybala are definitely out.
Giorgio Chiellini has not yet returned to full fitness and it will be interesting to see if head coach Massimiliano Allegri is willing to risk him for one of the most important matches of the club’s season.