Created on 28-04-2013 at 00:00 AM
The colour of danger at Bayern these days is yellow. To be more specific, it's the yellow cards and the threat of suspension which hang over no fewer than six FCB men prior to Wednesday's Champions League trip to Barcelona. If Munich reach the final, Philipp Lahm, Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dante, Luiz Gustavo and Mario Gomez would all be suspended should they see a yellow card at Camp Nou.
It sounds intimidating, but the key figures at the club are shrugging their shoulders. “It doesn't interest me in the slightest," said Matthias Sammer. The board director for sport thought back to last season, “when we arguably had even greater worries." Prior to the semi-final return in Madrid, no fewer than seven players risked suspension for the final. In the event, David Alaba, Gustavo and Holger Badstuber missed out. However, last season's squad wasn't as deep as the current group, argued Sammer, meaning there is ample cover for any potential absentees.
Heynckes calls for discipline
“But I won't be making any concessions," insisted Jupp Heynckes, "I'll select my best available team. The players will have to show great discipline, which means: no gestures, no unnecessary fouls, and they mustn't let themselves be provoked. That's the decisive factor."
In general, the home leg against Barcelona and the quarter-final first leg meeting with Juventus were “the benchmark" for the trip to the Catalan capital, said Sammer. “We need the same attitude, willingness to run and good tactics," said Heynckes, “Barcelona are still the best team in the world. We know they're capable of stunning results at home, and they've overturned deficits in the past. Their pride has been wounded and they'll give it everything they've got. We'll need a top performance."
Work, tireless running, unity
There must be no complacency in the light of the four-goal lead from the home leg, warned Sammer, recalling the Round of 16 return against Arsenal. “If we play like we did against Arsenal at home, with poor transitions, slow reactions when not in possession, and with a certain lack of discipline, it could be uncomfortable and dangerous." Franck Ribéry echoed the board director’s words: “It's not over! There's still another game. It's incredibly difficult at Camp Nou. We have to play like we did last Tuesday, with lots of work, lots of running, lots of unity!"