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Bayern in prime form for Lille clash

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07 Nov 2012 09:07:49

Bayern in prime form for Lille clash

Bayern Munich wing Franck Ribery has said the Bavarians are hitting top form ahead of their Champions League clash against French side Lille on Wednesday with all to play for in Group F for the Germans.

Bayern, BATE Borisov of Belarus and Valencia are all locked on six points at the top of the group while Lille are bottom with three defeats.

Having lost at Borisov in their second match, Bayern ground out a 1-0 victory at Lille a fortnight ago thanks to a Thomas Mueller penalty.

Ribery was in superb form in Saturday's 3-0 win at Hamburg in the Bundesliga as he created two of the goals which saw Munich open a seven-point lead at the top of the table.

"We're very, very good at the moment, but we have to recover well because we have a tough match against Lille on Wednesday," said Ribery, who proved his fitness after a recent thigh strain.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said he was impressed with his team's response having lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in the league a fortnight ago.

"I'm delighted with the team's approach. The way we chalked up the victory (in Hamburg) was first class, it was outstanding," he said.

"That's shown by the team spirit in this group. For example, Franck was exceptional today, but (striker) Mario Mandzukic was just as important, for his work-rate, pressing and defending.

"That's the hallmark of my team at the moment: everyone's looking out for everyone else, we're going for success as a unit."

A sublime pass from Ribery on 48 minutes gave Germany star Thomas Mueller enough space to score Bayern's second goal, before the Frenchman set up midfielder Toni Kroos to fire home five minutes later.

Lille warmed up for their trip to Munich with a 2-0 win over Evian Thonon on Saturday with Nolan Roux and Florent Balmont scoring either side of half-time and victory leaves them mid table.

"We're going with a good feeling to Munich," said coach Rudi Garcia, who admitted his team faces a huge challenge to win at the Allianz Arena.

The facts are against Lille for Wednesday's clash.

Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 Champions League games on home soil, the only defeat was the final defeat to Chelsea on penalties in May.

Lille have won just one of their last 12 European games away from home with seven defeats and kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 European away matches.

They have never scored in Germany and have lost their last three fixtures with Bundesliga sides dating back over the last decade.


AFP

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