Champions League finalists Bayern Munich take on AS Roma in Wednesday’s opening group game with both sides looking to get their season back on track after a poor run of form.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Group E tie, Bayern are mid-table in the Bundesliga and were held to a goalless draw by Werder Bremen on Saturday while Roma were hammered 5-1 at Cagliari in Serie A.
Munich coach Louis van Gaal has virtually a full-strength side to choose from with only injured duo Arjen Robben and Breno definitely out.
French midfielder Franck Ribery is still banned for the red card he picked up after being sent off in last season’s Champions League semi-final win over Lyon.
Bayern are struggling for form after being beaten 2-0 at Kaiserslautern a fortnight ago and goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt says his side must raise their game for Roma.
“We obviously have to improve in every area in our forthcoming games, especially in terms of taking our chances,” said Butt after Bayern failed to convert any of their numerous chances against Bremen.
Roma are looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat in Cagliari.
Argentina defender Nicolas Burdisso was sent off after just 22 minutes as the Roma defence capitulated
“That was certainly a heavy defeat, but I’m not worried,” said Roma’s captain Francesco Totti in relation to the Champions League duel in Munich.
By their own admission, Bayern are still struggling to come to terms with the new season as 11 of their stars were involved in the World Cup.
“It is clear that the team is still not where they want to be and need to be,” said sporting director Christian Nerlinger after sharing the points with Bremen.
Bayern lost the Champions League final 2-0 to Inter Milan in Madrid last season and defender Philipp Lahm said the side are not yet showing last season’s form.
“It was a long season and a short preparation. We are still lacking some rhythm,” said Lahm.
“It was tough not only mentally, but physically.
“We have seen in previous games, that we are not yet at 100 percent.
“We made life hard for ourselves in the first half, because we had many turnovers, which we don’t normally give away,” added Lahm.
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