Heynckes wary of Valencia threat
Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes admits he is cautious about the threat of Valencia's forwards ahead of their Champions League match on Tuesday.
His side currently sit top of the Bundesliga with 31 points out of a possible 36, and the coach is looking for his men to continue their solidity at the back when they travel to the Mestalla for the penultimate fixture of the group stage of the competition.
"A win will put us through to the next round, but it will not be easy," Heynckes said.
"Valencia have great offensive players. Roberto Soldado is a brilliant player who I know very well, but they also have players like Jonas and Nelson Valdez. We are very strong defensively, but we have to be very careful."
The coach also sang the praises of midfielder Javi Martinez prior to the return to his homeland in the midweek match.
"We are very happy with Javi," Heynckes said. "We have to forget how much he cost and continue the integration process so he can play at the highest European level.
"His team-mates speak very highly of him, and the captain has acknowledged that it is the type of player that the team needed."
While discussing the differences between the two nations' current standing in the footballing world, Heynckes hinted that he thought the Bundesliga had the upper hand over La Liga.
"There are several things that differ about the German and Spanish leagues," he said.
"The stadiums here are newer and friendly in Germany; the economic situation and the standard of the Bundesliga has improved a lot, and you can see that in the German clubs' Champions League and the Europa League performances.
"The atmosphere in German stadiums is great and they are almost always full."
Valencia counterpart Mauricio Pellegrino believes his team should not fear Bayern and aim to beat the Bavarians to finish as group winners.
Despite the Bundesliga outfit currently topping Group F due to their 2-1 victory in September, the 41-year-old coach says his men are desperate to get revenge and go through in first.
"We have nothing to fear," he said. "It will be a top-class match which will take a lot of effort, so we hope to do well enough to get the victory. We are getting better every day, although I am aware that there are things we still need to improve on.
"We are on the right track and we must continue working to achieve our goals. We are a competitive team, and when we have to make changes we will, and hopefully this game will be no exception to that."
Pellegrino praised Bayern's work when in and out of possession, and believes Valencia need to put in a solid performance in all areas of the pitch to succeed against Heynckes' men.
"Bayern work very well with or without the ball. We should not make the same mistakes that we made in Munich," he said.
"We must play a complete game to make it hard for Bayern. I would not settle for a draw when we have the chance to finish top of the group.
"We must defend and attack well, and play to our strengths. The team are in good spirits, and hopefully the fans will be after the game."