Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat is eagerly anticipating the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Benfica, but expects a tough test in Lisbon.
The Bundesliga leaders recorded a 1-0 win in the first game courtesy of an early Arturo Vidal strike and will be looking to book their ticket for the final four on Wednesday.
Bernat is well aware that it will not be straightforward for Bayern, though, and hopes they can get an early goal at the Estadio da Luz to make things easier.
“The game against Benfica will be like a war,” Bernat told TZ.
“Benfica will be hugely motivated and try to take advantage of the home advantage. It will be a great game, I have no doubt about that.
“I hope that we can score an important away goal. That would make things very difficult for them.
“We cannot always expect our attackers to score three or four goals.”
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola will still be without the likes of Jerome Boateng (groin), Holger Badstuber (ankle) and Arjen Robben (groin) due to injury, while Kingsley Coman (thigh) and Medhi Benatia (groin) are both doubtful.
Benfica saw off Zenit in the round of 16 to reach the quarter-finals and have now set their sights on their first semi-final appearance since 1989-90.
Midfielder Pizzi knows overturning a one-goal deficit against one of Europe’s top clubs will not be easy, but the Portugal international is nonetheless hopeful Benfica can pull off a surprise.
“We’ve been showing our quality in the Champions League. It’s not just my dream but the dream of all my team-mates to be in a Champions League semi-final,” Pizzi told the official UEFA website.
“We’re close, we know it will be difficult but we will give everything. We will fight from the first minute to the last to achieve our goal.
“There is a fantastic atmosphere at the Estadio da Luz. Our fans show all their passion, and obviously everyone at Benfica expects another great European night.”
Benfica will have to make do without suspended star striker Jonas following his booking at the Allianz Arena, while Julio Cesar (thigh) and Nuno Santos (knee) will also be missing.
Key Opta facts:
– 68 per cent of teams that have won 1-0 at home in the first leg of a Champions League game have gone on to progress to the next round (19 out of 28).
– Bayern Munich have knocked out Benfica in each of their three previous home/away encounters in European competition
– Nicolas Gaitan has been directly involved in Benfica’s three goals in this season’s Champions League knockout stages (One goal, two assists).
– Bayern are winless in their last six away games in the Champions League knockout stages (drawing three, losing three).
– Benfica have scored more than two goals only once in their last 39 Champions League games (v Anderlecht in November 2013).
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