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Ready for Braunschweig

‘We have to get at them right from the off’

Pep Guardiola gave his men Sunday off, but the stars were back at HQ for training on Monday morning, with the squad’s attention fully focused on Wednesday’s DFB Cup last sixteen meeting with Eintracht Braunschweig. With the exception of long-term absentees Philipp Lahm, Thiago, Mehdi Benatia and Thiago, all the players took part in the closed session. Following the 90-minute workout, Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber reported elsewhere for an extra shift as they took to the microphones for the daily press conference.

Müller insisted that FCB will not take the knockout meeting with the side lying sixth in the second division lightly. “We always prepare superbly for every opponent,” said the Germany international, “we’ll never go into a match with the wrong attitude. I’m expecting us to get at them right from the off.”

Müller believes he and his team-mates are “very grounded. We’ve been through so much, and we know what it’s all about. We’re not floating round in seventh heaven. We remain very self-critical.” Neither winning the World Cup nor FC Bayern’s big wins of recent weeks have changed that in the slightest. “We set out to win our matches, and if we can, we obviously try to win them the way we’ve been doing recently.”

‘Not easy'

Braunschweig have yet to beat Bayern in Munich in any competition, but Badstuber still called for full concentration prior to the cup clash. “It won’t be easy. We have to go out there and do a professional job,” said the 25-year-old. FCB are naturally overwhelming favourites to win the clash at the Allianz Arena, “but in the first instance we have to make sure we live up to our billing. We want to put our hearts into it.”

The Reds are determined not to stumble against Braunschweig, “because the cup final in Berlin is one of our big targets. We’re aiming very high this season. We’ll be very well prepared, just as we are for every game we play,” commented Badstuber, “I know it’s going to be a tough one.” Müller is thinking along the same lines: “You have no room for manoeuvre in a knockout tie!”