Bayern Munich may be one of the great European clubs, they may lead the Bundesliga, they may have scored 10 goals in their last two domestic games, and seven - against Benfica - in their last European tie, but they are not happy.
Jurgen Klinsmann, who scored six against Benfica, taking this season's personal European tally to 11 goals, railed last week against his team- mates' "ego mentality". Lothar Matthaus may have felt his ears burning. Their mutual antipathy has reached the stage where Uli Honess, once a World Cup winner, now the club's manager, has publicly asked for an increase in team spirit and reduction in ego.
Contrast this to a Forest side whose resolute European campaign has vividly illustrated a dressing-room prepared to work for one another. Frank Clark's skilful man-management is best exemplified by Ian Woan. After the quarter- final draw was made he told a Sunday tabloid that Forest had no chance. Clark dropped him for that day's match and disciplined him. Woan has since signed a new contract and is playing so well he is being mentioned as an England prospect.
Such is the lack of ego that Steve Stone, their newest England cap, not only admits to asking Klinsmann for his autograph last season but adds that "he just scribbled something unrecognisable before he scurried on to the bus without looking at me. I felt like shouting: 'I've just played against you'."
Woan and Stone are struggling to be fit, as is the man who epitomises Forest's spirit, Stuart Pearce. With Colin Cooper suspended for the first leg, the captain's presence is all the more needed.
Pearce has been troubled by a calf injury since January and Clark admitted: "He is less than 50-50, but if it was any other player it would be 90- 10 against. If it was anyone else I would not consider playing him, but he is an exception.
"While I have no qualms about their replacements [David Phillips and Alf Inge Haland], who both have big-match experience, we would miss the leadership Pearce and Cooper provide."
The Italian striker, Andrea Silenzi, did not go to Germany after a virus he suffered over the weekend flared up. His place in the party was taken by the 20-year-old reserve forward, Steve Guinan. Hope is provided by the return to form of Bryan Roy who, said Clark, "is our match-winner. It is for these sort of matches that we bought him." Roy may face a Bayern defence bereft of Matthaus, who has a groin injury.
Bayern have lost five of their last six meetings with English clubs, even losing at home in the last one, to Norwich City.
They were not the first English club to win in the Olympic Stadium. That honour belongs to Forest, who beat Malmo to win the European Cup in Munich 17 years ago. Clark played that night. If he needs inspiration when preparing his pre-match call to arms, he just has to look around him.Reuse content