Created on 22-04-2016 at 15:30 PM
On Tuesday Bayern booked a berth in Berlin by beating Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup semi-finals. Four days later the German record champions will get an early feel for the turf at the Olympic stadium in the German capital, because the men from Munich travel to face Hertha BSC on Saturday (Live in English from 15.30 CET on Twitter and FCB.tv Web Radio), where Thomas Müller & Co aim to take three important points in the final push for the championship.
“We've laid down a good foundation,” the Germany international commented, contemplating FCB’s excellent position in the race for the Bundesliga title. “Now we're onto the home straight in the championship, and we want to wrap it up as soon as possible.” The three points at stake in Berlin are thus vital, so “it's our goal” to harvest the maximum, announced the forward.
Guardiola praises Dardai's troops
“If we win it's almost over,” said Pep Guardiola, who issued a warning before the “final” away to Hertha. “They've had an outstanding season.” The FCB head coach has analysed the hosts and detected “fit and strong” players, who will be “very confident” despite the 3-0 cup semi-final defeat to Dortmund in midweek, according to the Catalan. That is hardly surprising: Hertha have not lost in ten Bundesliga matches on their home field.
Zest has replaced the disappointment at the cup defeat. “We can achieve something very beautiful in the remaining matches,” explained left-back Marvin Plattenhardt. The side lying fourth in the table are almost certain to seal a Europa League berth, but is that all? “They're in an excellent position to qualify for the Champions League,” added Guardiola.
'Have to do our homework'
Xabi Alonso, who served a one-match ban in last week’s 3-0 victory over Schalke, is available for selection again. Jérôme Boateng took part in the squad programme on Friday, but did not join his team-mates on the trip. There is “no chance” of Arjen Robben playing either, according to Guardiola. The Dutchman is likely to miss the Champions League semi-final first leg in Madrid too. But Europe's elite club competition is not yet a topic in any case, stressed the Catalan: “We only have Hertha on our minds.”
Munich also refused to indulge in mathematical mind-games. In the best case - if Dortmund lose to Stuttgart - Bayern could wrap up a fourth championship title in a row in the German capital. Instead, the Bavarians are focused on what is in their own hands: “We have to do our homework,” demanded Neuer. Müller added: “It's the only thing we can actually influence ourselves. The rest remains to be seen.”
Pre-match news from Hertha BSC:
- Unavailable: Sami Allagui (knee surgery), Sinan Kurt (sports rehab)
- Coach Pal Dardai: "We want to keep them at bay for as long as possible and see if we can nick a point, and that'll keep the title race alive.“