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'Keep up the rhythm'

Alaba & Co primed for Dortmund clash

It was a close call. When David Alaba was asked to comment on Franck Ribéry, who turns 34 on Friday, the Austrian struggled for words at first but soon breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks, I almost forgot," admitted Alaba, announcing he would "come up with something" for his partner on the left wing: "It has to be something special."

It is little wonder that Alaba almost forgot his friend as April is packed with action for the Bavarians: Augsburg, Hoffenheim, Dortmund, Real Madrid, Leverkusen and Madrid again! Bayern are in top form, the 1-0 defeat away to Hoffenheim notwithstanding. "Especially in the second half we demonstrated once more what we're capable of and the form we're in. We want to keep it up," Alaba said before Saturday's top clash against Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

"It's a crucial match, and it's special for us especially in front of our own fans," the 24-year-old explained, revealing that the Bavarians will prepare for the side lying fourth in the table by means of video analysis: "I'll see my opponent's strengths and prepare accordingly." Ousmane Dembélé, one of Dortmund's most dangerous players in front of goal in his maiden Bundesliga season, is one of Alaba's potential opponents.

Ancelotti? 'We feel his calmness'

Alaba might also be up against Dortmund's top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at times, "a very quick and strong striker," the defensive all-rounder acknowledged. The competition at the top of the scorer rankings between Aubameyang on 25 goals and Robert Lewandowski on 24 is "an advantage for Lewy," explained Alaba: "Competition helps him. Robert wants to improve every day, he demonstrates it in every training session and every match."

Carlo Ancelotti is helping his men remain confident in the decisive phase of the season. "He hasn't changed his behaviour," Alaba revealed. "As a player you notice his incredible experience and how successful he's been. We feel his calmness. It really helps us." The men from Munich are accordingly confident before the top clash against the Black and Yellows. "We want to win the match, to keep up the rhythm and create a good atmosphere before the match against Real, that's our goal."

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