Football

NO FANS, BUT BAYERN STILL UPBEAT

GROUP E

CSKA MOSCOW v BAYERN MUNICH

(Tonight, 11.55pm, SingTel mio TV Ch 111)

A hotel evacuation caused by a fire alarm is not going to knock Bayern Munich off their stride when they face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League tomorrow morning (Singapore time), according to their coach Pep Guardiola.

The team were forced to leave their hotel in the centre of the Russian capital for several hours on Sunday night, but Guardiola has taken the incident lightly.

"It was nothing major," Guardiola (below) said. "We were in the restaurant and some people were having a massage.

"We had to stay out for two hours, but everything was under control."

Bayern can ensure they take control of Group E at the Arena Khimki if they can follow up their last-gasp win over Manchester City in their opening fixture with another three points.

CSKA are regarded as the weakest side in the group, a theory underlined by their 5-1 loss to Roma a fortnight ago, and Bayern know they cannot afford to drop points in this fixture.

"It's a very dangerous and very strong group with Manchester City and Roma," added Guardiola. "We've got a big chance to win.

"If we win, then we can take a small step forward, but nothing is going to be decided until the return game against CSKA."

There will be no fans inside the Arena Khimki due to sanctions imposed for crowd misbehaviour last season.

Given the trouble CSKA followers caused in Rome during their opening game, the chances are the Moscow club will not play a single game in front of their own fans this campaign, which will further complicate matters for the side coached by Leonid Slutski.

"It is a difficult situation for us," said Slutski in Moscow.

"It's not nice when you have to acknowledge that there are teams who are far more talented and on a different level to you.

"We've just got to try to play to our very best and only when the game gets under way will we see if that's enough."

Apart from the long-term injury absentees, Bayern have a fully-fit squad, according to Guardiola.

That does not include Franck Ribery, Javier Martinez, Holger Badstuber, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thiago Alcantara.

Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernblooom are both suspended for the hosts, who were beaten 3-1 at home by Bayern last season. - PA Sport.

Champions League