Porto travel to Munich with their heads high and their chances of progressing even higher. A two-goal lead means Bayern must pull out all the stops to advance. Elsewhere, Barcelona, leading 3-1, host Paris-Saint Germain.
"Of course we are behind, but tomorrow is about performing on the pitch. I am completely confident that my players will take their chances and for me, as the manager, that is enough," said Pep Guardiola on Monday at his press conference. Bayern are 3-1 down against Porto after an error-ridden first-leg performance. Nevertheless, the Spanish coach is "100 percent optimistic" about his side's chances of progression.
"In 90 minutes everything is possible. After the last few months of work I can promise you we will give it a go. To do well in football, you have to come up against these moments," said the Spaniard. "The last few months have been the most challenging of my career. I have learned a lot about football and the emotions that come with it."
It's been a non-stop week for Bayern Munich. Following team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt's surprise departure, the side returned to domestic action with a 2-0 win against Hoffenheim last Saturday. The result leaves the record German champions with a chance of clinching their 25th Bundesliga title this coming weekend at home against Hertha. Before beer showers and confetti though, comes the Champions League and history is not on Bayern's side - Bayern have never progressed in the knockout stages of a European competition when the first leg was away and lost by two goals.
"It's not a question of a foundation of problems, it was just a bad day [the first leg in Porto]," said Thomas Müller, who along with captain Philipp Lahm, was also at the press conference. "A 2-0 win at home wouldn't be a wonder of the world, but we've still got to go and do it. I like having a bit of pressure," added the attacker.
It's hard to bet against Bayern Munich on any day and despite having more injures than fingers to count them with and being two-goals down, the belief is still there. "Of course we can improve, but our performance in Porto wasn't that bad. Hopefully we can score early and then anything is possible," said Lahm, who has recovered from the flu and is expected to start.
Optimism is a sure sign of Bayern's desire to progress, but after the first leg and the club's tumultuous week, it is the visitors who are now considered favorites. The Portuguese club rested nine first-team players at the weekend, including goalkeeper Helton who arrived in Munich with a ukulele to accompany the team's buoyant mood. Porto will however be without starting full backs Alex Sandro and Danilo due to suspension. Guardiola said he does not expect Franck Ribery to be fit, while Bastian Schweinsteiger's involvement remains unknown after the midfielder only recently returned to team training. Arjen Robben will continue to be noticeable in his absence, despite a visit to the recently departed Müller-Wohlfahrt on Monday.
Barcelona with a foot in the semifinals
Unlike Bayern Munich, a stellar performance in the French capital sees Barcelona hold a 3-1 lead as it welcomes Paris Saint-Germain to the Camp Nou on Tuesday. Head coach Luis Enrique has been quick to dissolve any ideas that the team will be over-confident, and he will not rest any players.
"It's very dangerous to think that we are already through," said Luis Suarez at the pre-match press conference on Monday. "Everyone knows about Ibrahimovic. He's always been one of the top five or six forwards in the world."
Suarez was in fantastic form in the first leg, embarrassing David Luiz before each of his two goals. Neymar scored Barcelona's other, and PSG only got a consolation after a huge deflection off defender Jeremy Mathieu.
The defending French champions will be without captain Thiago Silva after the Brazilian limped off in the first leg with a thigh injury. Also absent are Thiago Motta (hamstring) and Serge Aurier who is suspended: Barcelona are at full strength and have an in-form Lionel Messi, who is fresh from scoring his 400th career goal on Saturday.