Munich - In the words of Thomas Helmer, FC Bayern München find themselves in an "all or nothing" situation ahead of hosting Manchester United FC in the return leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the Allianz Arena (Wednesday 9th, 18:45GMT / 20:45 CEST).

The Bavarians have their hearts set on becoming the first club to win back-to-back Champions League titles, but to do so, they'll have to better their result from the first leg, which finished 1-1. After Borussia Dortmund failed to overturn their three-goal deficit against Real Madrid CF on Tuesday, the Bundesliga’s last hope of being represented in the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition lies in the hands of Pep Guardiola's men.

In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, former Bayern defender and Champions League runner-up Helmer discusses Bayern’s prospects against the English Premier League champions...

bundesliga.com: Thomas Helmer, the quarter-final first leg at Old Trafford didn't exactly go to plan. Even though Bayern had 70 per cent possession there was no separating the sides. What were your thoughts on the game?

Thomas Helmer: Didn't exactly go to plan? Bayern were without a doubt the stronger side. Manchester played just like Chelsea did in the 2012 Champions League Final and only tried to threaten on the counter-attack. I didn’t see a bad Bayern - I saw a very weak United.

bundesliga.com: It is still a dangerous result for Bayern going into the second leg...

Helmer: Of course, the result has led to a lot of criticism being levelled at the team.

bundesliga.com: Would Bayern be better served starting with up front?

Helmer: Yes, had a really hard time fighting for headers against two very strong Man United centre-backs, so Pep Guardiola had to make a change. In a game like that Mandzukic is definitely the more suitable player. It is not that Müller made mistakes, but more that Bayern put United under more pressure with Mandzukic in attack.

bundesliga.com: What do you expect from Manchester United in the return leg?

Helmer: They'll play just as they did at Old Trafford: very, very defensively. Bayern will have a lot of possession and dominate the game. That is Bayern’s way and that is how they need to play. The one thing they can't do is let Man United go in front via a counter-attack or a set-piece, like they did in the first leg. Bayern have to score the first goal and I’m optimistic that they will.

bundesliga.com: Why are you so optimistic?

Helmer: Because of the strength of Bayern’s squad, their coach and the sensational season they've enjoyed so far. Bayern have enough experience to know exactly how to approach a game like this on home soil. Manchester have also been here many times before, but they don’t possess the same class they had a few years back.

bundesliga.com: is out injured, and Bastian Schweinsteiger are suspended. How big a blow is that for Bayern?

Helmer: It's definitely a problem because they're very important players in the team. Basti’s presence will be missed in particular, as he’s in great form and dangerous in front of goal, but anything is possible for Bayern with the squad they have.

bundesliga.com: Is an adequate replacement in midfield?

Helmer: He has played in defensive midfield before, so it won’t be unfamiliar to him. Alongside , I think he’ll be able to cope.

bundesliga.com: What are the differences between and Kroos?

Helmer: Basti is older, has more experience and has scored a lot of goals. If Kroos has a fault, it would be his lack of goals. He is more of a creative player. In that regard, he is similar to Schweinsteiger. He has a great shot and he should use it more often and take a few more risks, like from free-kicks.

bundesliga.com: What do you think would be more effective against a defensive Manchester United side: Lahm as the sole defensive midfielder, or both Lahm and Kroos in that position.

Helmer: Bayern’s formation is very loose, as one defensive midfielder often plays higher up anyway and the wing-backs also bomb forward to add numbers in midfield. The team have perfected this way of playing, so no matter what the starting line-up looks like, I don’t think they’ll have any problems.

Interview by Andreas Messmer