Duo fit for Bayern trip to Sevilla
BAYERN Munich has included Arturo Vidal and Juan Bernat in its squad for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal at Sevilla today after the pair passed late fitness tests.
Midfielder Vidal and fullback Bernat both missed Saturday’s 6-0 demolition of Borussia Dortmund with minor injuries as the Bavarians moved to within one win of a sixth straight German Bundesliga title with six fixtures still remaining.
“They trained on Sunday and declared themselves fit for Sevilla,” the club said prior to the team’s departure for Spain yesterday.
Coach Jupp Heynckes will have the luxury of an almost full squad to chose from, apart from injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (foot) and forward Kingsley Coman, who has been out with an ankle problem since late February.
“Now come the weeks that the preseason preparation was all about,” Bayern’s Thomas Mueller told reporters. “Everything is at stake in April and we hope to stay in the competition as long as possible.”
“We know what awaits us in Sevilla and are conscious of the challenge. But we want to advance.”
However, its recent record in Spain is bad, having lost on all five of its last trips to the country and having been eliminated by a Spanish club in the competition in each of the last four seasons.
Sevilla is also undefeated in its 11 home games against German clubs.
“We need to score goals, especially away against them,” said Bayern winger Arjen Robben. “It will be a fierce game. They are very strong at home and with their fans it will be a sizzling atmosphere. We need to be at the top of our game.”
The treble-chasing Bavarians, who last won the UCL in 2013, will host Sevilla in Munich for the return leg next week.
This will be Sevilla’s first ever appearance in a UCL quarterfinal.
Sevilla was responsible for the least expected blow landed on the English Premier League after it dumped out Manchester United in the last 16 following a fearless 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
It was also the high point of a topsy-turvy three months since Vincenzo Montella took charge mid-season.