Bayern Munich resume their UEFA Champions League challenge on Tuesday with Turkish champions Besiktas visiting the Allianz Arena for the first leg of a last-16 clash the Bavarians hope will pave the way for a seventh straight quarter-final qualification (kick-off 20:45CET/19:45GMT).Latest
James Rodriguez was rested for Bayern’s 2-1 win at Wolfsburg on Saturday, while coach Jupp Heynckes will be able to recall 1,400 appearances worth of talent that he left on the bench for the game when Besiktas come to town. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Joshua Kimmich were all afforded a rest at the weekend, but expect the seven players above to return refreshed, with Thiago Alcantara – who made his comeback after a three-month injury absence – dropping back to the bench. Apart from Manuel Neuer, Heycnkes has a fully-fit squad to choose from. “The coach is in that famous old situation of being spoilt for choice,” said Müller. “When we’re all fit, we’ve got plenty of really good players.”
Portuguese defender Pepe, who helped Real Madrid beat Bayern in the 2014 semi-finals, stands at the heart of the Besiktas defence on what will be his 95th Champions League appearance, while another experienced campaigner, Ricardo Quaresma, should return to the starting XI after being left out of the weekend’s 1-1 draw at Konyaspor, most likely taking the place of Jeremain Lens. Former Hoffenheim man Ryan Babel should start, meanwhile, though he won’t have fond memories of his previous two visits to Munich: 4-0 and 7-1 defeats.