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UEFA Champions League Group F preview: Valencia eye Bayern scalp

Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino will seek retribution when his side hosts Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The former Valencia player will remember only too well the spot kick he missed against the German giants that decided the 2001 final.

Both teams are on nine points in Group F, while Belarusian side BATE Borisov (six) can ill-afford to lose at home to pointless Lille if they harbour hopes of making the last 16.

Valencia, who are struggling down in eighth in La Liga, don’t have history on their side either having only defeated Bayern once in the sides’ past eight meetings.

Last time they met in September, Bayern saluted 2-1 with goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos.

Jupp Heynckes’ side are flying at the top of the Bundesliga and could well be strengthened by the return of Mario Gomez and Franck Ribery.

Gomez scored four goals against a regional side last week and would provide a huge boost up front after overcoming a long-term ankle injury, while Ribery is in line after a brief stint on the sidelines with bruised ribs.

Winger Arjen Robben, meanwhile, is unavailable after suffering a thigh injury playing for the Netherlands in last week’s friendly against Germany.

Both sides will have one eye on BATE’s result in Minsk, with a loss for the Belarusian champions meaning Valencia would go through regardless of what happens at the Mestalla.

Likewise for Bayern, a win in Valencia would seal safe passage for last year’s Champions League runners-up.

BATE defeated Lille 3-1 in France when the sides met in September and the French side will have nothing to play for but pride on Tuesday.

Mon 19 November, 2012
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