Arjen Robben and David Alaba believe the Fußball Arena München factor could help FC Bayern München turn round their UEFA Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid CF on Tuesday night.
Beaten 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabéu last week, Bayern's hopes of becoming the first team to retain the trophy in the UEFA Champions League era are hanging in the balance, and Robben knows the backing of the home fans will be crucial. "I think the stadium in Munich will be on fire," he said. "We'll give everything and we need our fans and their support. The 11 players on the pitch and the seven on the bench will give everything, and we have lots of confidence."
Bayern's belief is buoyed by their home record against Madrid – nine wins and one draw, although only three of those victories have come by a margin that would take the German champions into the final. "Madrid will obviously have lots of confidence because of the result in Spain, but they know it won't be easy here," Robben. "There will be no presents given from our side. Of course they won't be worried, but they also know it won't be easy."
In the last four a year ago, Bayern overwhelmed FC Barcelona 4-0 in the home leg and Alaba is determined for a repeat performance. "In last year's Champions League against Barcelona we saw what our fans are capable of, and we need them again now," he said. "They will push us to attack; we're aware it won't be easy as Madrid have great players but we won't focus on our opponents. We concentrate on our strengths. We want to the final in Lisbon. It's our dream to go through."
Robben – who scored 11 goals in 50 Liga appearances for Madrid between 2007 and 2009 – is relishing the opportunity to put one over his old club, although he was keen to emphasise: "There are no open bills with Real; I was there for two years and it was nice to go back. We know Madrid want 'La Décima' but we're all motivated enough. We are still hungry and we know we can write history with the team. So we are as motivated as they are. The two teams have great goals."
To achieve their aim, Robben knows Bayern will have to draw on the form that has brought them 14 home goals in this season's competition so far, adding: "We have to play with confidence. We scored three goals against Manchester United [in the quarter-finals] and last year we scored four against Barcelona.
We've had some weeks where we've not been at our best but will still have a really good feeling. We've had a great season so far and now we have to reward ourselves."
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