Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Juventus v Bayern Munich - Preview

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Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola is not concerned by a host of defensive injuries ahead of their Champions League last-16 tie at in-form Juventus.

Guardiola is without centre-backs Javi Martínez (knee), Jerome Boateng (groin) and Holger Badstuber (ankle).

It means that midfielder Joshua Kimmich and full-back David Alaba could form a makeshift partnership.

"We don't have any central defenders, that's how it is. We've got to avoid conceding set-pieces," Guardiola said.

"They are maybe the best team in Europe from set-pieces."

Guardiola won the Champions League twice as a manager at Barcelona, and is seeking to lift the trophy for the first time with Bayern before he heads to Manchester City next season.

He takes his team to face a Juventus side who reached last season's final and who had won 13 consecutive games in all competitions before a Serie A draw at Bologna last Friday.

Gianluigi Buffon says Juve are a lot more assured than when they last lost to Bayern at home in 2013

Massimiliano Allegri's team are also on a 16-game unbeaten run at home in the Champions League.

They will be without Giorgio Chiellini (calf) and Alex Sandro (thigh), who were left out of their squad, but Mario Mandzukic has shaken off a calf problem with Allegri saying that the former Bayern forward and midfielder Sami Khedira would start.

Juventus suffered a rare home defeat by Bayern in 2013 but goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said: "We'll be up against a very strong team with very few, if any, weaknesses. But we're also on the up. We're a lot more self-assured than we were three years ago."
Bayern are eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and are unbeaten in 10 games.

Guardiola added: "Juventus didn't start the season well, but things are working well now with their style of play so it's going to be an interesting game.

"We'll try to play well and score a few goals, which won't be easy because they have not been conceding."

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