Bay­ern talk­ing chances down ahead of Do mund match

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport - – AP

BAY­ERN Mu­nich pres­i­dent Uli Hoe­ness isn’t used to talk­ing down his side’s chances.

Bay­ern vis­its Borus­sia Dort­mund on Satur­day for the Ger­man “Klas­siker” — a high­light for Bun­desliga fans at the start of the sea­son. Few be­lieved then, how­ever, that Bay­ern would be four points be­hind and strug­gling af­ter 10 matches.

“We’re not go­ing as fa­vorites to Dort­mund, but as out­siders - for the first time in a long time,” Hoe­ness said af­ter Bay­ern’s 2-0 win over AEK Athens in the Cham­pi­ons League on Wed­nes­day.

“You can’t just go to Dort­mund and say, I want three points. Dort­mund has played a very good sea­son up to now, no ques­tion.”

De­spite los­ing at Atletico Madrid 2-0 on Tues­day, Dort­mund re­mains the only un­beaten team in the Bun­desliga af­ter rack­ing up 30 goals in 10 games.

The team man­aged 15 com­pet­i­tive games with­out de­feat un­der Lu­cien Favre, en­sur­ing he made the best start any Dort­mund coach.

Even the loss to Atletico, which it beat 4-0 in their pre­vi­ous game, is be­ing viewed pos­i­tively by the club.

“Per­haps it’s not so bad af­ter the last few weeks in which ev­ery­thing was top, to be brought back down to earth a lit­tle bit,” Dort­mund goal­keeper Ro­man Buerki said.

Dort­mund chief ex­ec­u­tive Han­sjoachim Watzke went even fur­ther.

“I’m a bit happy that this long series (un­beaten) is over. It fo­cuses minds for Satur­day,” Watzke said.

Dort­mund lost in Mu­nich 6-0 in the pre­vi­ous meet­ing in March, with Robert Le­wandowski scor­ing a hat trick against his for­mer club.

How­ever, Dort­mund is a new team un­der Favre and its new con­sul­tants of for­mer cap­tain Se­bas­tian Kehl and Matthias Sam­mer.

New play­ers like Bel­gium mid­fielder Axel Wit­sel and Den­mark mid­fielder Thomas De­laney have helped sta­bi­lize the team, while Span­ish striker Paco Al­cacer has been a rev­e­la­tion since his ar­rival on loan from Barcelona.

Favre has got the young play­ers fir­ing, too. Jadon San­cho (18), Achraf Hakimi (19), Dan-axel Za­gadou (19) and Ja­cob Bruun Larsen (20) are all thriv­ing this sea­son.

Dort­mund’s resur­gence has re­vi­tal­ized the league. Fi­nally, there is a team that can chal­lenge Bay­ern.

The Bavar­ian pow­er­house was top for the pre­vi­ous 12 meet­ings be­tween the sides - since Dort­mund last won the ti­tle in 2012.

“For Ger­man soc­cer it’s nice that you now have a game with a dif­fer­ent con­stel­la­tion,” Watzke said. “Peo­ple are look­ing for­ward to that.”

A win over its old ri­vals would put Dort­mund seven points clear of the six-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break.

Bay­ern for­ward Robert Le­wandowski cel­e­brates his side’s sec­ond goal dur­ing the Cham­pi­ons League group E soc­cer match be­tween FC Bay­ern Mu­nich and AEK Athen in Mu­nich, Ger­many on Wed­nes­day. Photo: AP

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