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Apr 28, 2014

Klopp rooting for Bayern in UCL semi

Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has backed Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League final.

Schaaf: Bullish Bayern warm up for Real

Bayern need to overcome a 1-0 deficit from last Wednesday's first leg of the semifinal with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu if they are to have a chance of defending the trophy and reaching a fourth final in five years.

Having struggled both at home and abroad in recent weeks since retaining the Bundesliga title in record time last month, Bayern returned to winning ways at the weekend when they put four past Werder Bremen in the second half to seal a 5-2 victory.

Despite Dortmund's domestic rivalry with Bayern -- both on the pitch and between the hierarchies of the two clubs -- BVB boss Klopp told Bild he hopes Pep Guardiola's side progress.

"It’s a given that I keep my fingers crossed for FC Bayern in that match," he said. "I am still convinced that they will do it."

Klopp’s words were echoed by German football federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach, who said in Bild: "Of course, I will be an FC Bayern fan on Tuesday, and I am totally optimistic."

Those sentiments will be welcome for Bayern forward Thomas Mueller, who told reporters after Saturday's win over Werder Bremen that the whole nation should be backing his side to reach the final, which takes place at Lisbon's Estadio da Luz on May 24.

"I don’t want to discuss the match [against Bremen]. That match is all the same to me," the Germany international said. "Only Tuesday counts for us. And until then we need the full support: From everyone, also from outside the club, from the media, from the press.

"We are all Germans. Should we not make it on Tuesday, there is still time to tear us apart."

The midfielder is likely to return to Bayern’s starting XI against Los Blancos, having not started in the first leg in the Spanish capital. Mueller has scored five Champions League goals this season, more than any other Munich player.

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