Munich (dpa) – The crooked football stars of FC Bayern Munich have had to wait for the next Champions League assignment for five months and 14 days extremely long.
And now that the second leg against Chelsea in the empty Allianz Arena can finally take place on Saturday (9:00 p.m. / Sky), everything should proceed at an accelerated pace. Following the completion of the domestic leagues, the premier class wakes up from crown lockdown with the remaining four rounds of 16 games.
In two crisp weeks, the Bavarians want to be crowned European champions. The last triple stages will be crowned with success from August 12 to 23 during the “Final 8 Tournament” in Lisbon, in order to do so in Munich before the warm-up against that of the first leg on February 25 in London. 3-0 beat Chelsea, circling all thoughts and plans. RB Leipzig are already a fixture in Portugal which, even before the Corona stop, could make the first quarter-final participation against last year’s runner-up Tottenham Hotspur perfect.
The desire for Lisbon with the Estadio da Luz final stadium electrifies all the big clubs in Europe, from Bavaria to Paris Saint-Germain, including FC Barcelona and Manchester City. The absolute heavyweights will certainly miss Liverpool FC. Jürgen Klopp and the defending champion were surprisingly eliminated in the round of 16 against Leipzig’s opponents Atlético Madrid.
Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge expects “the most exciting Champions League ever” in the corona format final with a strict hygiene concept and no spectators. The eight teams competing in Lisbon “will be first class”. Exceptionally, the quarter-finals and semi-finals in the Benfica and Sporting stadiums will also be decided in a single match.
“Especially in tournaments, you have to be in great shape to be there, to be focused,” explained the experienced tournament coach Flick, who in 2014 became assistant to national coach Joachim Löw with the German national team in Brazil. “We want to build the confidence against Chelsea with a good game – and then he’ll go where we all want to go,” said energetic Flick.
The other round of 16 second leg is more explosive: Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus must turn 0: 1 against Olympique de Lyon on Friday. Manchester City embarks on a gigantic duel with the best specialists of Real Madrid with a 2-1 lead. Bavaria’s potential quarter-final opponent is determined between Lionel Messis FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli. The first leg ended 1-1.
Two quarter-finals are set: the outsiders Atalanta Bergamo and Dortmund, winner of Paris Saint-Germain with coach Thomas Tuchel, will open the football spectacle in Lisbon on August 12. A day later, the challenge of Atlético de Leipzig. The two winners meet in the semi-final. Even without striker Timo Werner, who had already migrated to Chelsea, the Leipzig side are pretty confident. “It’s a knockout game, it depends on the form of the day. And it is possible that an underdog can beat a big one sometimes,” said sporting director Markus Krösche.
The clubs of Spain, England and Italy are at the pace of the match, Bavaria and Leipzig attack like Paris. RB coach Julian Nagelsmann and his team are already flying to Portugal on Saturday to acclimatize in the coastal town of Estoril. It can still be extremely hot at the local kick-off time at 8:00 p.m.
Bayern would travel to the Algarve on Sunday, assuming they get ahead of Chelsea, to put the finishing touches to the “Final 8” in the Atlantic holiday region. After winning the Championship and the DFB Cup, Flick feels a strong triple spirit in his squad: “I am delighted with the atmosphere in the team.” During the short vacation, the players “weren’t just lying on the couch.” Flick feels an “absolute focus on winning” in the team around captain Manuel Neuer.
It is also positive for Bayern that UEFA rescinds the yellow cards before the tournament starts in Lisbon. Joshua Kimmich and Thiago take advantage if they go without warning against Chelsea. In Leipzig, Marcel Sabitzer and Amadou Haidara benefit from the modified yellow regulations. Munich can also rely on lenders Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and Alvaro Odriozola for the premier class, while other clubs have lost the best players. Leipzig misses Werner, Manchester City winger Leroy Sané left for Bayern. The two domestic players may not yet appear for their new clubs.