Created on 22-09-2014 at 15:15 PM
When the fixture schedule was published in the summer, no-one can have imagined that the biggest game on Bundesliga Matchday 5 would be FC Bayern versus SC Paderborn. But when the nation's most successful club meet the promoted outfit at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening (Live in English from 7.45 pm CET on Twitter and FCB.tv Web Radio) in the first-ever top-flight showdown between the pair, the going-in position defies all pre-season expectations: the promoted minnows travel to the Bavarian capital as undefeated league leaders.
“You have to have respect. They’re giving it their all and they’re still caught up in the euphoria of promotion,” reasoned Thomas Müller on the eve of the meeting with Paderborn, who like FCB have two wins and two draws from the first four matches. “They’re simply enjoying playing in the Bundesliga," argued Jérôme Boateng, “we'll have to be extremely wary on Tuesday.” Keeper Manuel Neuer predicted anything but a stroll: “It'll definitely be tough.”
Not in search of souvenirs
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola said he was not surprised by Paderborn’s exploits. “They have quality, they’re enthusiastic and they’re under no pressure,” the Spaniard said prior to his team’s pre-match workout at the Säbener Strasse. Guardiola believes the visitors will maintain their attacking approach. “It's what they've done so far, and why would they change it? If they win it’ll be a huge surprise, but if they lose everything will still be okay.”
The mood in Paderborn is correspondingly relaxed at the moment. “We're not going there just to take selfies with the World Cup winners. We'll do the best we can in Munich and go for it. The lads should enjoy the match. The result isn't my top priority,” declared coach Andre Breitenreiter. For all that, the former Unterhaching player is also a realist: “Bayern Munich are in a class of their own. We're playing the best team in the world.”
However, the Reds are still without a clutch of key players for the first match during this year's Oktoberfest: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martínez, Holger Badstuber, Thiago and Franck Ribéry are all definitely out. On the plus side Arjen Robben, who broke down in the warm-up prior to Saturday's goalless draw with Hamburg, could return to the matchday squad.
“We have to prepare well and make sure we give a very, very good performance,” Dante informed FCB.tv, singling out three-goal striker Elias Kachunga as Paderborn's danger man. “I know him well, he's very quick and dangerous,” warned Dante, Kachunga's former team-mate at Borussia Mönchengladbach.