Bayern Munich are set to travel to Spain and face Sevilla for the very first time in the modern era as both teams look to progress to the semi-finals.
Sevilla face a stern test of character when Bayern Munich come visiting at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in the quarter-final first leg on Tuesday. European heavyweights Bayern continue their formidable record after reaching the quarters for a record 17th time.
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes himself is on a record-breaking run of 11 consecutive wins in the competition and will not be eager to lose it just yet. But Die Roten have been handed beaten in each of their last five visits to Spain, which has also resulted in them getting eliminated in the last four seasons.
Bayern will have a full-strength squad to choose from when they visit Sevilla. Although there were early doubts over the involvement of Arturo Vidal and Juan Bernat, the duo seem to have passed late fitness tests and could be involved in the game.
Manuel Neuer has finally returned to training, but is way short on full match fitness, meaning Sven Ulreich will continue in goal for the foreseeable future. In defence, Heynckes will go with his regular pairing of Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, with David Alaba at left-back, although Bernat could be an option.
Heynckes in his team update suggested Bernat could well make the grade, stating, “Juan, like Arturo, is ready physically and he used to play for Valencia. Any player would like to play in his country”.
Heynckes has a few concerns with suspensions and among the five players who could be missing the next game, is Joshua Kimmich. Rafinha could be an option, but Kimmich’s presence in the team gives them an edge on the right side of defence and the Bayern boss will probably go with him.
In midfield, Heynckes would prefer to start Vidal to give his side some energy and the Chilean could come into the team at the expense of Arjen Robben. Vidal had been a doubt for the clash till he cleared a late fitness test. “Arturo had minor problems, but trained with squad normally and could be involved.” said the experienced coach.
Corentin Tolisso too is one yellow away from suspension, but Heynckes is unlikely to take the risk and instead partner Vidal with Javi Martinez in central midfield. Thomas Muller and the in-form Franck Ribery are set to start on either side of attack with James Rodriguez in the hole.
Robert Lewandowski will also be cautious to not pick a yellow as well, when the Bundesliga’s top scorer in the Champions League leads the line for Bayern.