Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac admits the Champions League visit of Liverpool is a personal highlight for him but knows nothing other than a victory will suffice.
The former Croatia international adopted a deferential tone, not what you usually expect from the manager of five-time European champions and a team which has a record 28 Bundesliga titles, when talking about their last-16, second-leg opponents.
“I’ve qualified for the World Cup and led Eintracht Frankfurt in the relegation play-off – that was the worst – but tomorrow is a highlight,” Kovac told a press conference.
“The world will be watching us. Everyone’s excited: the players, the coaches, the fans and the media.
“It’s a tough game and the pressure is always on in knockout games but that’s a positive, not a negative.”
However, the onus will be on Bayern, in their own stadium, to come up with a more attacking game plan than the containment approach they adopted three weeks ago.
The German club did not manage a shot on target for the first time since their semi-final, first-leg tie at Barcelona in 2015 and Kovac accepts that is the one area which has to improve.
“What we need to do is be more efficient up front: see the room and take advantage,” added the coach, whose side have scored 11 times in their last two league matches.
“We’ve shown creativity in our recent Bundesliga games, scored plenty of goals but also not taken a lot.
“We need balance, but we also need to win no matter what, regardless of whether Liverpool score.
“They’ve got an advantage if the score, but we simply need to win.”
Get the latest personalised Reds products on our new TEAMtalk Liverpool shop!