Rummenigge and Lahm issue warning

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There is growing excitement at Bayern as the decisive weeks of the season have begun. After the workmanlike 1-0 victory over Frankfurt on Saturday FC Bayern take on Lisbon giants Benfica in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening. The encounter will be anything but an easy task, Bavarian camp stressed.

"It's going to be more difficult than some people think," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warned before the meeting with the Portuguese side. "We take our opponents very seriously. They're not top of their table for no reason, and they've turned in consistently strong displays in the last few months. We certainly won't make the mistake of underestimating them."

Benfica are not among the top favourites to win the competition, but the two-time European Cup winners will be no "pushover," as some declared after the pairing, stressed Rummenigge. "We'll have to play much better than we did against Frankfurt. It won't be a walkover, that's clear."

Porto as ample warning

Rummenigge recalled last season's quarter-finals against FC Porto. After a 3-1 defeat in the first leg FCB were on the verge of being knocked out. The Bavarians ultimately went through but only after a breathtaking 6-1 demolition in the return in Munich. "That should be warning enough," added Rummenigge. In the build-up to the tie with Porto the public had been "very, very optimistic too. After the match in Porto there was lots of moaning."

Philipp Lahm agreed, aware of what awaits him and his team-mates in the two matches. "They're a good team, they're among the top eight in Europe. You don't get there for no reason," commented the FCB skipper. However, he summarised, "we're favourites, and if we live up to our full potential we'll prevail."