Bayern Munich are vowing to go on the attack against Manchester United as they seek a place in the last four of the Champions League on Wednesday.
A goalless draw would be enough for Bayern in the quarter-final second-leg game at the Allianz Arena — putting them through on the away goals rule — but Bayern will be seeking to wrap up the tie with a victory.
“We’ve got to play to win. We’ll end up losing if we play for a goalless draw,” central defender Dante told the club website.
“We’ve got be aggressive going forward from the start and try to score. Manchester United will sit back again. They’ll take more risks the longer the game goes on.” Coach Pep Guardiola and his players expect a similar scenario to the first leg in Old Trafford which ended in a 1—1 draw.
Bayern enjoyed a much greater share of the ball but were hit on the break by United who also were dangerous from set pieces — their goal by Nemanja Vidic came from a Wayne Rooney corner. In front of their own crowd, the German and European champions will be seeking similar dominance but must be wary about conceding a goal.
Guardiola will have to adjust for the loss in midfield of the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, and also has midfielders Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri out injured.
At least Bayern can welcome back Brazil international Dante, who sat out the first leg with a one-match ban.
“That felt really bad. I definitely wanted to help the team out, but I couldn’t,” Dante said. “They did well at the end of the day. We can be pleased with a 1—1 draw away to a top club like Manchester United. It’s up to us to wrap it up at home.”
Fellow defender Jerome Boateng also says there is no point in being cautious playing at home.
“We shouldn’t aim for a goalless draw, and we don’t want to either,” he said.
“As before they’ll try and get at us on the counter-attack and at set plays. We need just a little more pace, we need to get our crosses in a little quicker, and we should sometimes try our luck with shots from long range.”
Midfielder Mario Goetze vows Bayern will be on the front foot.
“We’ll play to win, obviously. We’re utterly determined to win, score goals and play our football. It’s been our hallmark this season and we want something similar on Wednesday,” he said.
“We need to be even more determined and committed in the final third, and if they do let their guard drop, we need to get forward at speed and use any space that opens up. That’ll be the decisive factor on Wednesday.” United hope to have Rooney recovered from a badly bruised toe suffered in the first leg. The striker missed Saturday’s 4—0 Premier League victory at Newcastle.
Dante has expressed his admiration for Rooney, who had to answer to diving allegations after Schweinsteiger’s first-leg dismissal with a second booking following his tackle on the England player.
“I played against him for Brazil,” Dante said. “He’s a world-class striker. He reads the game well, he’s lightning fast over the first few yards and he has a brilliant shot.
“We’ll have to be on our toes at the back — even if he’s not in the side. Manchester United have a lot of quality players.”
Boateng believes Rooney will play, saying it would be “a big loss” for United if he failed to recover.
“Wayne Rooney is the key man for United,” he said. “He always makes himself available, he goes looking for the ball, he takes the free-kicks and corners, and he’s always good for a goal.”
Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson, who in the last round endured the wrath of Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, will be in charge of the match.
Pellegrini severely criticised the official after City lost 2—0 to Barcelona in their last-16 first-leg tie at the Etihad Stadium in February.
The Chilean later apologised for his comments but was banned for three UEFA competition matches, one of which was suspended for two years.