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Ivica Olić believes the fact "any team can beat another" in the UEFA Champions League means FC Bayern München can look ahead to their daunting make-or-break final group game at Juventus with optimism.
The Croatian international struck in the 62nd minute to earn Bayern all three points against Maccabi Haifa FC on Wednesday, a 1-0 win which – coupled with FC Girondins de Bordeaux's 2-0 defeat of Juventus – means Louis van Gaal's side can still clinch a place in the knockout stages with victory in Turin on Matchday 6. Olić is confident the Bianconeri can be beaten in their own backyard. "There are no easy opponents in the Champions League, but there are no really difficult opponents either," the 30-year-old told uefa.com.
"Juventus are a very good team, but they have shown in both the league and the Champions League that they too have problems," added Olić, whose strike was his first of the group stage. "Any team can beat another in the Champions League. We saw that again today with Beşiktaş winning in Manchester. Everything is still in our hands. We have to play well. But at least we have hope, and I think we can do it."
Olić revived his side's fortunes by slotting the ball into the unguarded Maccabi net after strike partner Mario Gómez had seen a shot parried, but the Bayern match-winner revealed his presence on the Fußball Arena München pitch had been as uncertain as his team's future in the competition prior to kick-off. "I've had a bad injury, I was out seven weeks and it wasn't certain I could play the whole game," said the former Hamburger SV striker, who made his third appearance of the competition after missing Bayern's back-to-back defeats to Bordeaux with a calf problem. "In the end, it worked out well. I think the whole team played well, we created a lot of opportunities and picked up three important points. I hope we've now got ourselves on track."
Having spent more time on the sidelines than on the pitch recently, Olić has his own take on the reasons behind Bayern's precarious current predicament. The four-time European champions have proved as inconsistent on the domestic scene as in continental competition, and Olić said it has been difficult for the squad to escape the negative impact of bad results. "When you're a player and you don't win, then uncertainty creeps in. In recent games, we haven't had a lot of confidence. That is important for any team. When you don't have any confidence, then you can't play well," added the industrious forward, who has faith Bayern can still make waves in this season's UEFA Champions League. "It's the best there is in club football. We want to still be in it after the winter break. We're going to fight, and it's up to us. We know we can do it."
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