The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bayern Munich treading warily

Inter’s Javier Zanetti (right) and Diego Milito during a training session in Milan, on Monday

Munich: Bayern Munich’s hopes of playing in a Champions League final in their own stadium will be hanging on a knife edge on Tuesday as they face a 0-1 deficit against an FC Basel side unbeaten in their last 17 outings.

Despite thrashing Hoffenheim 7-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Bayern are treading warily against Basel who are attempting to become the first Swiss team to reach the last eight of Europe’s top club competition for 33 years.

“The win over Hoffenheim will give us some thrust for Tuesday,” said coach Jupp Heynckes ahead of the second leg of the round-of-16 tie.

“The game on Saturday was proof that we can score goals. But Basel will not make it as easy as Hoffenheim,” said Heynckes who twice led Bayern to the semi-finals of the European Cup during a previous stint at the club which lasted from 1987-91.

Bayern, whose stadium hosts this year's final, have won 11 of their last 12 European games at home, yet have made a habit of slipping up at the Allianz Arena at crucial moments.

Three of their last four Champions League campaigns ended when they failed to win games on home turf.

Last season, Bayern went out at the same stage when they lost 3-2 at home to Inter Milan, having won 1-0 away in the first leg.

A 1-1 draw against Barcelona sent them out 5-1 on aggregate in 2009 and two years before that, Bayern lost 2-0 at home to AC Milan in the quarter finals, having drawn the first leg 2-2 away.

Basel are unbeaten and have scored in every match away from home in the competition this season, their most impressive result being a 3-3 draw at Manchester United after trailing 2-0 at halftime.

Basel coach Heiko Vogel spent nine years working with Bayern’s youth team before moving to Basel as assistant to Thorsten Fink.

He was giving the senior role last year after Fink left to join Hamburg SV and has been an instant hit.

After losing at home to Benfica on his debut, Vogel's team has gone unbeaten for 17 games, beating Manchester United 2-1 to qualify for the knockout stages at their expense and also overcoming Bayern in the first leg.

In Milan, Inter coach Claudio Ranieri believes it would be a crying shame if his improving side fail to overturn their 1-0 deficit at home to Olympique Marseille.

Inter won their first match in 10 games in all competitions when two late goals sealed a 2-0 Serie A victory at Chievo Verona on Friday and Ranieri was so overjoyed he had tears in his eyes.

“Emotion is the most beautiful thing. I do this job to feel emotions, both positive and negative, but to tell the truth the positive ones are better,” he said.

“I hope that on Tuesday against Marseille the San Siro will be full and the fans will be urging us on. It won’t be an easy game, but we'll try. We have a chance. Let's try to see what we can manage to do with our fans behind us.”


Bayern Munich vs Basel; Inter Milan vs Marseille.