April 14, 2015 13:33:07 UK
Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer have insisted there is no chance of Bayern Munich underestimating FC Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Bavarians head to Portugal on Wednesday hoping to secure a first-leg advantage in the last-eight double header and keep alive their hopes of a repeat of the club’s 2013 Treble-winning season.
Germany striker Muller, who has registered five in six outings this term in Europe, said the Bundesliga table-toppers can cope with a growing injury-list and move a step closer to the last four of Europe’s marquee club competitions.
“I’ve never played against Porto before,” the World Cup winner told Tuesday’s press briefing. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the stadium is like. Due to the injuries the competition between us [among the squad] has become less important. It’s now crucial to really become a team.”
FC Porto have not lost at home in Europe so far this season and goalkeeper Neuer said it was imperative he and his team-mates were mentally prepared.
The Germany stopper told reporters: “Generally, players from Portugal are technically very good on the ball. I think that [Javi] Martínez (knee) is still a doubt for tomorrow. We will have to prepare ourselves, so that we are as ready as we can be.”
Head coach Pep Guardiola could be without a host of players for a difficult assignment at Estadio do Dragao.
David Alaba has a knee injury and is expected to be out for seven weeks, Arjen Robben has an abdominal muscle problem and Franck Ribery is still sidelined because of an ankle complaint.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (ankle) limped off recently against Borussia Dortmund, while Medhi Benatia was substituted against Bayer Leverkusen because of a thigh problem. Tom Starke suffered an ankle injury in training on 5th April.
Guardiola said: “The players who are in the stadium tomorrow, are available. The players who are still in Munich can’t play.
“We can’t play once if we want to progress, we need to do it in both games. They are not a counterattacking team, they also want to control the game. They like to press [their opponents] high.”
FC Porto are currently priced 4.75 in the match betting and the first-leg draw outcome is available to back at 3.75. Bayern Munich are quoted 1.83 in the 90 minutes market.
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