Bayern Munich will need to play a “perfect game” against Liverpool on Wednesday if they are to advance to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, according to playmaking maestro James Rodriguez.
That victory sent Bayern back to the top of the Bundesliga table on goal difference for the first time since September. Now their sights are set on a place in the last eight of the Champions League, and James is adamant he and his team are focused and motivated for their tie with last year’s defeated finalists in the competition.
"We have to show a perfect game at home to get ahead. Liverpool have very fast players, they feel good when they get space. That's why we have to play very focused, get down to business with great motivation and play a good game," James told fcbayern.com.
Watch: All James' 2018/19 Hinrunde goals and assists
Bayern would have longed to take an away goal back to their stomping ground, and James believes the first-leg stalemate was a “dangerous” result with the last-16 tie now so finely balanced.
"I think we have to be very careful. Their counter attacks are very fast. But I think we have every chance of getting to the next round,” added James, who called upon the Bavarian faithful to give Bayern the edge on home soil.
"I expect that the fans in the arena will support us a lot and push us forward, so that we can feel good and give everything."
James himself is somewhat of a lucky charm for Bayern, who have won every league and European game this season when the Colombian has scored or assisted. Although perhaps more crucial this week, he's never tasted defeat in three outings against Liverpool.
The 27-year-old featured in two Group B wins against the English Premier League outfit in 2014/15 and the goalless draw maintained James’ unbeaten record against the Merseyside club.
Each of those three matches have also resulted in clean sheets in the favour of James’ teams and there may be a few superstitious teammates rubbing his lucky left foot this week.
"I always have the faith and I always want to win,” said James. “I always want to play in the Champions League and that's why I hope we do well and go through. That's what we all want."
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