Preview: Bayern Munich has tricky job against Shakhtar in Champions League

AP , Wednesday 11 Mar 2015

Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich players arrive for a training session prior to the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk (Photo: AP)

The only time Bayern Munich went out of a European competition after drawing the first leg away 0-0 was in 1981 against Liverpool, which advanced with a 1-1 draw in Munich.

The other five times, the Bavarians went through and they hope to do it again on Wednesday against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Bayern only managed a 0-0 draw in Ukraine and will have to be wary of Shakhtar's counterattack. The Ukrainian team will go through with any draw other than 0-0.

Here are some things to know about Wednesday's match:


If Pep Guardiola's team has one weak link it is defending against counterattacks.

Guardiola's lateral defenders often move into the midfield to give his team an advantage there. But that can make the back vulnerable to counterattacks, as demonstrated by Real Madrid in last season's 4-0 semifinal win in Munich.

"Their forwards are as fast as the wind," Bayern director Matthias Sammer said of Donetsk. "We are ready but we are also modest and we know that we are facing a dangerous opponent."


Guardiola thinks Shakhtar is good enough for the Bundesliga.

"If Shakhtar was playing in the Bundesliga, it would be contesting for the title. If we let them run, then we'll be kaputt," Guardiola said of Shakhtar's strength on the break.

"We have to control the counter and create more chances than in the first leg," Guardiola said, adding that Bayern's elimination would be "a big problem for me."


The Donetsk team is stacked with Brazilians and Bayern players think stopping the forwards will do the job.

"Donetsk is dangerous, but it only had one chance in the home leg," Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. "It's a game we simply have to go out and win. We like these situations.

"We know we have to be cautious and keep their counterattacks under control," Neuer said.


Dante, Bayern's other Brazilian defender apart from Rafinha, has been struggling in recent matches and was substituted after only 32 minutes in Saturday's 3-1 win in Hannover.

Guardiola insisted after the match that the move was tactical, since he brought in a forward, Robert Lewandowski, for Dante.

But the German media is speculating that Dante may be released by Bayern once the season is over.


Shakhtar has been forced to play its games away from its home in Donetsk because of the unrest in eastern Ukraine. Some players feel this may not be such a handicap.

"The fact that we are a long way away from home, our only motivation is to play to win, so that our people in Donetsk can support us and rejoice with us," Shakhtar defender Yaroslav Rakitskiy.

"The most important thing is that we didn't concede a goal. We have a good chance now to beat Bayern. We will see on the day."

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