Bayern Munich enter Wednesday’s Champions League return leg against Shakhtar Donetsk knowing victory will ensure their passage to the next round of the competition.
The German giants were held to a 0-0 draw by the Ukrainian champions in the first leg – a surprising result considering Shakhtar had not competed in a competitive game for months and needed to relocate its operations due to the Ukrainian conflict.
While the probability of another scoreless draw – and a potential shootout – remains in the return leg in Germany, Bayern Munich have not prepared for the match to go to penalty kicks.
When asked if whether Bayern have practiced penalties, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola bluntly stated: “No. Scoring goals (in normal play) is more important.”
“The game is like a basketball play-off, the two teams know each other,” the manager added. “In the end, the quality of the players is the difference.
“This match isn’t just important to me. It is important for the club. It’s simple, we just have to win the game.”
Midfielder Franck Ribery echoed his manager’s statements while praising the qualities of Bayern’s opponents.
“We have to win tomorrow, this is very important,” Ribery added. “Shakhtar have forwards with quality and we have to be aware of this. They are good at counterattacking, so we have to avoid this.
“It’s very important for us to go progress to the quarter-finals. Shakhtar are a good team, we know this. But, we are even better. Of course, our will and aim is to win the game and go through.
“The coach is trying always to help us and make us better. We are ready for the game tomorrow, that’s for sure!”
Bayern Munich will be without the services of midfielder Xabi Alonso (suspension) and defender Philipp Lahm, who has not recovered from the ankle injury he suffered in November.
Programming note: Bayern Munich vs. Shakhtar Donetsk will be shown LIVE on Wednesday starting at 3:45pm EST on FOX Sports 2 and FoxSoccer2Go.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season