Valencia host Bayern Munich in a top of the table battle Champions League match tonight, with both teams locked together on 9 points and aiming to finish at the summit of Group F.
A victory for either team will send them through to the next round of the competition with a game to spare, as long as Valencia don’t concede or they win by two goals or more.
The Bavarians are looking to go one step further in the Champions League than last season, when they came agonisingly close to winning the competition, only to be denied the trophy by a tenacious Chelsea side.
If the match ends all square it will set up a nervy final set of fixtures in the group, unless Lille finally chalk up a victory when they face BATE Borisov, which would see Valencia and Munich both through with a game to spare.
But the German club are only interested in focusing on their own game and getting the three points to send them through to the final 16.
“We want to win the group,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the away side.
Mario Gomez, the formidable striker who notched up an impressive 12 goals in the Champions League last time out, may be set to finally feature for the German club this season in the competition after returning from an ankle injury.
Franck Ribery missed Bayern’s domestic fixture against Nurnberg at the weekend but is set for a return to the side to bolster their chances of victory.
Arjen Robben misses out, though, and sits out the game with a torn muscle, while Luiz Gustavo’s groin surgery keeps him out.
Valencia will fancy their chances tonight, having triumphed in all of their last seven competitive matches at the Mestalla, which includes Champions League victories over the other two sides in Group F.
Defender Adil Rami knows the quality of their German opponents but sees no reason why they can’t stretch their unbeaten run at home.
“It’s a very important game for the club and the fans, but we’re ready to have a good game,” he said.
“We know that they are one of the best teams in the world, but we shouldn’t forget that at home we’re looking unbeatable. Here we have our best weapons.”
But the home side will be without Joao Pereira and Fernando Gago who are both suffering with calf injuries, and Jeremy Mathieu is still a long way from fitness after problems with his Achilles tendons.
Some better news for the La Liga side comes in the form of the return of Ricardo Costa and Aly Cissokho, who both had to watch the victory over Espanyol from the sidelines at the weekend in La Liga but are available again for the Champions League.