Villarreal v Bayern Munich preview

While the Spaniards, who finished fourth in La Liga last season,
host Germany’s record champions, who finished a disappointing third
in the Bundesliga, the group’s other two participants Manchester
City and Napoli will be locking horns in England in one of the most
competitive Champions League groups. With little to choose between
all four clubs as they take their places in the starting blocks,
avoiding a false start is a priority. “Spanish football is the best
that Europe has to offer at the moment,” said Bayern’s chairman
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to reporters before Munich flew out to
Valencia on Tuesday. “We know that the final takes place in Munich
and we have got to pay attention that such a dream does not turn
into a nightmare. “We need to concentrate to ensure that we don’t
experience any setback.” The prospect of taking part – and winning
– the final in their own stadium is the driving force behind
Bayern’s motivation while Villarreal are just keen to enjoy the
occasion alongside three of European football’s giants. “Playing in
this competition is the biggest stimulus a footballer could have
nowadays,” said their coach Juan Carlos Garrido. “We know that we
have been dealt a difficult group with three of the best sides in
the world right now, but this is the Champions League. “We face
three clubs who attract an immense media interest and with players
from the highest level. “For Villarreal, it is magnificent to be
able to play in this competition against teams with such history.
“Playing against Bayern is a great motivation.” However, Garrido
insists his side will not only be making up the numbers tomorrow
night. “We are going to have to fight for every ball and get the
fans on our side,” he added. “We know that they are a good team and
we are going to have to work very hard because this is a crucial
game. “To keep the three points would be a major coup and it would
make our intentions clear that we can qualify.” A 2-2 draw with
Sevilla saw Villarreal get their first point of the season in La
Liga at the weekend while Bayern warmed up for tomorrow night’s
clash with a 7-0 win over Freiburg. However, their coach Jupp
Heynckes is reading little into that victory. Although that
emphatic result will have “given us a boost”, Heynckes has warned
tomorrow’s opponents will certainly provide a much sterner test.
“European games cannot be compared with the Bundesliga,” he said.
Bayern will be without Arjen Robben, whose groin injury is proving
to be more problematic than first feared. It is likely Heynckes
will name the same starting XI as he did on Saturday with in-form
Mario Gomez, who has scored seven goals in his last two games,
leading the attack with Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller in support.
Garrido is without the suspended Borja Valero, who was sent off in
the qualifying match against Odense, while Cristian Zapata is also
part of the squad after missing the Sevilla game due to a late
return from international duty with Colombia.