Valencia hopes to end Bayern's dominance

NESHA STARCEVIC AP Sports Writer Published:

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Valencia has won all three Champions League matches since its opening-round loss to Bayern Munich, and the Spanish side would like to keep the momentum when last season's runner-up visits on Tuesday.

Bayern can take confidence in the knowledge that it has lost only once in eight encounters against Valencia, with four draws. It beat the Spanish side on penalties to lift the Champions League trophy in 2001. But in Valencia, Bayern has two draws and the one loss (3-0) in 1996 in the UEFA Cup.

Valencia is unbeaten in its last eight matches at home in the competition.

Neither team will secure advancement if BATE Borisov beats Lille in the other Group F match. Lille must win by a greater margin than 3-1 to have any hope of overtaking the Belarusian team for third place.

With two matches remaining, Valencia and Bayern lead the group on nine points, with Valencia ahead by a goal. BATE has six and Lille is still without a point.

BATE won in Lille and beat Bayern at home, its first victories in the Champions League.

Bayern is coming off a 6-1 thrashing of Lille at home and Jupp Heynckes' team wants to win the group.

"We are going to play for a victory," Heynckes said. "I want to win there."

Bayern lost its perfect away record in the Bundesliga on Saturday after being held to a 1-1 draw by Nuremberg.

"It's not a broken leg," Heynckes said after his side dropped points for just the second time this season. "You simply can't win all your games. We can live with the draw."

Injuries and the need to rest ahead of the trip to Valencia forced Heynckes to make six changes to his previous lineup in the league.

Netherlands winger Arjen Robben was ruled out for at least two weeks after returning from international duty with a torn muscle and defenders Jerome Boateng also stayed home. Defender Holger Badstuber is back from a torn thigh muscle, while striker Mario Gomez was in the squad for the first time since ankle surgery in August.

There are also question marks over Franck Ribery, who missed the game in Nuremberg with a hip injury.

"I think he will be able to play. We need him," Heynckes said.

Ribery said the injury was not simple, "but this is a very important game and I must play."

Valencia needed a late, disputed penalty to beat last-place Espanyol 2-1 in the Spanish league.

Lille coach Rudi Garcia was scathing about his team's performance in Friday's 2-0 defeat at Lorient, which put an end to a three-game winning run in the league.

"Our first half was unworthy of a team with European aspirations. When you only play for one half, it's obviously difficult to get a good result. Am I angry? Yes. I was expecting something else."

Right back Laurent Bonnart said Lille needs to cut out the sloppy errors to have any chance of beating BATE.

"We will have to fix these things in the future. We have to show more desire and more determination," Bonnart said.

BATE leads the domestic league and earned a 0-0 draw at Slaviya Mozyr over the weekend.

BATE will be without injured midfielder Alexander Pavlov, who has a right hip injury, and striker Dmitry Mozolevsky, who has strained his right foot.

"We are in perfect mood and we are ready to play a good game and get a positive result," BATE coach Viktor Goncharenko said. "We are tuned to win, all our players."