Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini knows Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola too well to expect a Champions League favour tonight.
The Blues need at least a point from their encounter with the already-qualified German champions to take any hope of qualifying into their final game against AS Roma.
Bayern on the other hand have won Group E with two games to spare, and could hardly be blamed for using the game as an opportunity to rotate a squad without several injured players.
“The Champions League is a very prestigious competition,” said the 43-year-old Guardiola, who has won the European Cup three times with Barcelona, once as a player and twice as a manager.
“The game is more important for City than it is for us, but we have to find a way to be motivated. It’s about focus.
“The best way to be motivated is through our game and our tactics. We are not here just for fun but to win three points.”
Pellegrini said City are due a result against the five-times European champions having been minutes from an opening draw against Bayern in September.
“Big teams have big squads, and I don’t think that Bayern will play any worse than they have so far, and I’m sure we’re going to have a tough game,” Pellegrini told reporters.
“We were very unlucky to lose against Bayern, and then we conceded late goals in Moscow, but what matters now is what we do tomorrow.
“Last year Bayern played very well here last year, but then we went to Munich and won, so the games have all been very close.”
Midfielder Xabi Alonso stressed the importance of professionalism in the Bayern performance, but was looking forward to lining up against some familiar faces like old adversary Frank Lampard.
“It’s going to be strange playing against him not for Chelsea, because he was such a legend at that club,” said the former Liverpool midfielder.
“We’ve always enjoyed fierce games and we’ve met a few times so there are no problems between us. I wish him the best of luck.”
The Spaniard turns 33 on the day of Munich’s trip to Manchester and is not ruling out a permanent return to England.
Alonso won a ‘miraculous’ Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, as well as the FA Cup the following season, before moving to Real Madrid.
“I don’t know if I will have time in my career to come back to England,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
“It’s always great to be back in England, but who knows, maybe one day…”
Main image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.