Bayern Munich go into their final match in Champions League Group B aiming to avenge the defeat that cost Carlo Ancelotti his job. But nobody is even contemplating the possibility of finishing top of the group.
Bayern Munich enter Tuesday night's sixth and final match in Group B on 12 points, three behind Paris Saint-Germain, who terminated Carlo Ancelotti's tenure in the Bavarian capital with a 3-0 win in late September. This means, Bayern could still finish top of the group - all they have to do is beat PSG by four goals.
However, this is a notion that nobody at Bayern seems to want to entertain. Ancelotti's replacement as head coach, Jupp Heynckes (pictured above), is a case in point.
"You need to be realistic," Heynckes told reporters at the prematch press conference on Monday. "We cannot assume we're playing for top spot in the group tomorrow. Bayern vs. PSG will be all about prestige."
Something to prove
However, this doesn't mean that the Bundesliga's top team won't be going out to win the match. Heynckes said his aim for Tuesday evening in the Allianz Arena would be "to win the game and show that Bayern Munich doesn't just have a great history in the Champions League, but that it remains one of the top clubs" in Europe.
Heynckes had words of high praise for PSG's offensive stars Neymar ("a world-class player") and Kylian Mbappe ("outstanding, a cut above"), and noted that his team would only be able to compete if they worked "as a collective" throughout the match.
"But they are only human too, and our strikers aren't bad either," said Heynckes, who also revealed that he planned to use the same starting lineup as he did in Bayern's 3-1 win over Hannover on Saturday.
This means that the starting 11 should included James Rodriguez and the Frenchman Kingsley Coman, who seemed to be really looking forward to facing his hometown team.
Match 'more important' for Bayern
"This match is more important for us than for Paris," the 21-year-old attacker said. "We need to show ourselves and the rest of Europe that we are contenders for the title."
Coach Heynckes, though, will have to do without Arjen Robben and Juan Bernat, both of whom missed Monday's training session as they continue to recover from injury. Long-term absentees Manuael Neuer and Thiago will also remain just that – absent on Tuesday.
Franck Ribery, who made his return from injury in the 89th minute against Hannover, could see some action from the bench. Heynckes said this would depend on how the likes of Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman felt on Tuesday night. Heynckes noted that Coman was still suffering slightly from the tendonitis that seems to have been caused by a pair of new boots he wore while with France last month.
And although he may wind up having to tweak his planned lineup for Tuesday evening, Heynckes sounded confident as he ended Monday's press conference with a promise to the fans: "This will be a clash of the highest quality."