Thomas Tuchel has told his Bayern Munich players to play their part in Manchester United’s European downfall as he warned Erik ten Hag there would be no let up from the German champions at Old Trafford.
Bayern have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages as group winners and have not lost at this stage of the competition for over six years.
United, who slumped an 11th defeat of a torrid season in Saturday’s dire 3-0 home defeat by Bournemouth, must beat Bayern on Tuesday night and hope Copenhagen’s game with Galatasaray ends in a draw to stand any chance of reaching the last 16.
But Bayern head coach Tuchel is expecting a swift response from his own team’s shock hammering at the weekend in a 5-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt when his side suffered what he described as an “absurdly high” 22 “critical ball losses”.
He added: “A game in Manchester is always a big game. It is a big club, it has a certain electricity around it. We are preparing for the best possible Man United team. They are very dangerous in all positions and tough to play. We hope that we can play a part in them underperforming.
“I understand that some people thought that against Copenhagen [in a 0-0 draw a fortnight ago] it looked like we weren’t throwing everything into it.
“But when you sign for Bayern or United, you sign to give 100 per cent every day. When you wear the Bayern Munich jersey, you behave like champions, there’s no other way.
“We have high expectations, even if we are always under pressure. United will give everything tomorrow to get through. But we expect a top performance from us. I hope we can match United’s enthusiasm and energy, which I’m sure they’ll bring to the game.
“We always want to win and want to continue our unbeaten run in the Champions League. It’s an important game for us because we want to start another run before Christmas.”
Harry Kane has scored 22 goals for Bayern since joining the German champions from Tottenham for £100 million in the summer after United opted against bidding for the England captain.
Tuchel said he plans to unleash Kane on United and can understand why their supporters were dismayed he did not move to Old Trafford instead of Bayern.
“Every fan wants Harry to play in their team,” Tuchel said. “We’re very proud we were able to sign Harry. He’s a great character and a great role model, a terrific player. He scores a lot of goals and will be very happy to play here tomorrow. It’s a great story that we were able to bring the England captain, your centre-forward, to Germany.”
Tuchel was sacked as Chelsea manager in September last year just 100 days into Todd Boelhy’s reign as the west London club’s owner. And Tuchel said he could sympathise with United manager Erik ten Hag given the uncertainty hanging over the club as the Ineos billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe prepares to buy a 25 per cent stake from the Glazers and take control of football operations.
“Sometimes it’s difficult and challenging,” he said. “I know what it’s like to manage big clubs. Sometimes you can feel a bit stuck because things at the club are developing as quickly as you would like. I sympathise heavily with my colleague. We’ll have to muster a lot of energy tomorrow to succeed here. I’m convinced that United want to and will fight back.”