FC Bayern München are guaranteed top spot in Group E but Louis van Gaal believes the visit of FC Basel 1893 is the perfect occasion to put their Bundesliga struggles behind them.
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Top spot is already secure but Louis van Gaal is demanding his FC Bayern München team put their indifferent domestic form behind them to finish their UEFA Champions League Group E campaign with their fifth victory of the section against FC Basel 1893. The visitors need three points to have any chance of pipping AS Roma to second place and their coach, former Bayern midfielder Thorsten Fink, says a win would be "sensational". He can count on around 10,000 travelling fans to inspire his side to it.
Louis van Gaal, Bayern coach
We don't have to win but we should do. Personally I think Bayern should win every game, especially at home. But Basel still have the chance to go through and they're in good shape. We've watched them, they've played quite well in the last few weeks, so we must show them respect – as we do all our opponents. Basel are a good team. They have some players with great individual ability, but more importantly they work very well together and a good team spirit is much more important than having high-class individuals.
Our style of play has been consistent, but our results haven't. We have made individual errors in our last few games and have not scored as many goals as we expect. But my players know how important every game is and that our goal is to win this one, mainly because we're at home in front of a sold-out stadium.
Thorsten Fink, Basel coach
I played for Bayern for many years, but now I'm Basel coach so it isn't a home game for me at all. But playing here is a massive highlight for us and if we could win it would be sensational. But that's only possible if we play our very best and Bayern are not as strong as usual. Bayern are not allowed to lose against us. They are already in quite a difficult period, so losing against a team from the Swiss league is absolutely forbidden. The pressure is on them, while we can keep being relaxed.
We'll try to beat them by concentrating on our strength as a unit. We must play our own game. We still have a theoretical chance of getting through to the next round, and have already achieved our goal by reaching the Europa League. My players won't fear the colossal atmosphere of this stadium; every one of them has enough quality to deal with it. We are delighted to bring so many supporters from Basel, they will give us extra motivation. It will be a fantastic experience for my team.
Mark van Bommel (knee) made his first start since 12 October on Saturday, while Miroslav Klose is back in training following a hamstring injury. However, Danijel Pranjić is doubtful with a muscle problem. Holger Badstuber (groin), Arjen Robben (torn left thigh) and Rouven Sattelmaier (bicep) are sidelined until the new year, and Ivica Olić was ruled out for six months after knee surgery on 9 November.
Marco Streller returned against BSC Young Boys at the weekend after three weeks out with torn ankle ligaments. Benjamin Huggel (back) will be laid off till the new year, while Scott Chipperfield (back) and Genséric Kusunga (knee) are other absentees. Jacques Zoua suffered a setback in his comeback from a thigh muscle injury on 20 November.
04/12/10 FC Schalke 04 2-0 Bayern
(Jurado 58, Höwedes 67)
Nine games unbeaten before Matchday 5, Bayern suffered their second defeat in three outings in Gelsenkirchen.
04/12/10 Basel 3-1 BSC Young Boys
(Frei 52 77, Shaqiri 68; Doubai 41)
Alexander Frei scored his first top-flight goals since mid-September as Basel preserved their record of just one defeat in their last 12 Super League fixtures.
Did you know?
Basel coach Fink won three Bundesliga titles with Bayern between 1997 and 2003. He was an 80th-minute substitute in the 1999 UEFA Champions League final loss to Manchester United FC but was not in the party for the 2001 final victory against Valencia CF.
See the match background for more information.