Bay­ern tak­ing noth­ing for granted

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

BAY­ERN Mu­nich’s Ar­jen Robben has warned his team­mates to avoid any­thing “strange” hap­pen­ing when the Bun­desliga lead­ers host bot­tom side Ein­tra­cht Braun­schweig to­day.

Strug­glers Braun­schweig could not have picked a worse time to travel to the home of all-con­quer­ing Bay­ern, who are on record runs in the Bun­desliga and Cham­pi­ons League.

Mu­nich’s em­phatic 3-0 win at Borus­sia Dort­mund last Satur­day ex­tended their record run to 38 matches un­beaten in the Bun­desliga. And Wed­nes­day’s 3-1 win at CSKA Moscow gave them a record 10th con­sec­u­tive Cham­pi­ons League vic­tory.

But Bay­ern want to con­sol­i­date their four-point gap at the top of the Ger­man league ta­ble and Robben has warned his team­mates not to as­sume three more points at the Al­lianz Arena.

“We re­spect each and ev­ery op­po­nent and I’ve of­ten seen in my ca­reer that when top plays bot­tom, strange things can hap­pen. That’s why ev­ery­one should con­cen­trate on their per­for­mance, we have to be fully fo­cused and it won’t be easy. You should never take any­thing for granted in games like th­ese.”

Braun­schweig coach Torsten Lieberknecht has said his side are nei­ther “un­der­dogs, nor lap­dogs” as they look for their first ever win over Bay­ern in Mu­nich and only their third win of the sea­son.

But the odds are stacked heav­ily against an up­set.

Braun­schweig have never won in Mu­nich, af­ter four draws with 14 de­feats in 18 meet­ings, and they have failed to score in their last four matches against Bay­ern.

It has been just un­der five years since the Bavar­ian gi­ants last slipped up against the side bot­tom of the ta­ble when they crashed to a 2- 0 de­feat at En­ergie Cot­tbus in 2008.

Sec­ond- placed Bayer Lev­erkusen are home to Nurem­berg as they look to bounce back from their 5-0 drub­bing to Manch­ester United at the BayArena, their worst de­feat in Europe.

Bayer are un­beaten in 11 Bun­desliga home games since March, when they went down 2-1 to Bay­ern, while Nurem­berg are the only team in Europe’s top five leagues with­out a win af­ter eight draws and five de­feats this sea­son.

Hav­ing got their Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign back on track with a 3-1 win at home to Napoli, Borus­sia Dort­mund are look­ing to kick-start their Bun­desliga form at Mainz 05 af­ter con­sec­u­tive de­feats.

A crop of in­juries has seen coach Jur­gen Klopp forced to cob­ble to­gether a back four.

New sign­ing Manuel Friedrich, who was with­out a club be­fore be­ing signed by Dort­mund 10 days ago, is ex­pected to part­ner Sokratis at cen­tre-back.

Fresh from their Cham­pi­ons League draw at Steaua Bucharest, Schalke 04 host their bo­gey team VfB Stuttgart to­day look­ing to build some form hav­ing thrown away a 2-0 lead in Satur­day’s 3-3 draw at Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt.

With 26 goals con­ceded af­ter 13 games, Schalke have their worst de­fence for 20 years and will be with­out goal­keeper Timo Hilde­brand, who has a bruised hip. – Sapa-AFP

GETTY IM­AGES

HOLD ON: Ar­jen Robben of Bay­ern Mu­nich has warned his team­mates to be wary of bot­tom side Ein­tra­cht Braun­schweig, who say they are nei­ther ‘un­der­dogs, nor lap­dogs’.

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