Champions League back with blockbuster fixtures as Bayern prepare for Atléti

Sports Desk, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Bayern Munich are poised to launch their campaign to defend the Champions League title just under 60 days after they lifted the trophy in Lisbon back in August.

Hansi Flick’s German treble winners return to European action on Wednesday night, when they will host Group A rivals Atlético Madrid at the Allianz Stadium.

Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said the team would train to be “at full strength” when they welcome the Spanish side, according to the club’s official website.

“They’re a strong and awkward team. They were rightly in the knockout stages last season. Everyone knows the players, so we can look forward to a great night of football on Wednesday,” he said.

Robert Lewandowski, speaking after Bayern’s 4-1 win against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday — in which the Polish striker bagged a brace — said: “We need to maintain the rhythm and win the next game too.”

Preparations are already underway in Madrid Monday as Atléti train ahead what promised to be a challenging encounter.

Head coach Diego Simeone is without Diego Costa, who has a muscle issue, so Bayern will most likely come up against the attacking combination of Joao Félix and new-comer Luis Suárez.

The Colchoneros’ central defender Stefan Savic spoke with his club’s media before the encounter.

“We have a tough group because Bayern, as we all know, won the last Champions League and they are in good form,” he said.

“But I think the team is ready and we can be competitive,” he added.

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