Created on 18-04-2016 at 14:31 PM
For the next week, Bayern’s eyes are focused on Berlin. FCB could wrap up the Bundesliga title away to Hertha Berlin on Saturday, but before that, the Reds are looking to take the last hurdle en route to the DFB Cup final in the German capital. Werder Bremen are the semi-final opponents at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night (Live in English from 20:30 CET on Twitter and FCB.tv Web Radio). The two most successful teams in the history of the competition (FCB 17 wins, Bremen 6) face each other in the last four. However, it’s not past glory in the DFB Cup that prompted Pep Guardiola to sound a warning.
League title? Champions League? The FCB head coach wants his players to ignore all distractions. “If we play like we did in the first half against Schalke then we can say goodbye to the cup,” said the 45-year-old on Monday: “I want to get to the final. If we’re ready and focused, we’ll be in with a chance.”
Looking at the table, league leaders FCB go into this match as clear favourites against the team lying sixteenth in the standings. Bayern clocked up a 5-0 win at home to Werder Bremen five weeks ago. “But several Bremen players missed that game,” recalled Guardiola. Claudio Pizarro, Zlatko Junuzovic, Clemens Fritz and Fin Bartels were sidelined for that game. It’s a different story on Tuesday night with Bremen at full strength.
Take nothing for granted
The now 37-year-old former Bayern star Pizarro embodies Bremen’s hopes of springing a surprise in Munich. “He’s one of the best central strikers I’ve ever come across. He’s incredible in the box,” declared Guardiola. Pizza celebrated five of his six cup triumphs in an FCB shirt but the Bayern coach is sure of one thing: the Peruvian will do all he can for Werder on Tuesday to knock his Bayern out of the competition.
Werder’s 3-2 win against Champions League quarter-finalists Wolfsburg at the weekend and this season’s cup performances show it would be unwise to underestimate the north German side, as Bremen knocked out FC Köln (1-0), Gladbach (4-3) and Leverkusen (3-1). To think it will be an easy game “would be a big mistake,” warned Guardiola who will again be without Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Arjen Robben on Tuesday. The Bayern coach knows all too well: “Anything can happen in a single match.”
Pre-match news from Bremen:
Coach Viktor Skripnik: "We're away to the hot favourites and it'll be incredibly tough. But we'll try everything we can to do something good for our history. We have to believe in ourselves.“
Captain Clemens Fritz: "Anything can happen in a one-off match. Our previous cup ties have shown we're capable of going to our limits and beyond in single matches. We have to have belief and we have to show courage. If so anything's possible.“
Unavailable: Philipp Bargfrede (knee surgery), Raphael Wolf (hip surgery), Michael Zetterer (fracture), Aaron Johannsson (hip surgery)