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Thiago ruled out

BVB, Haaland, Alaba & more - Flick's key pre-Dortmund quotes

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FC Bayern are ready for a huge Bundesliga top-of-the-table clash! With the right balance between focussed and relaxed, the German record champions completed their final training session on Monday before the showdown at Borussia Dortmund. On Tuesday evening (kick-off 18:30 CEST), the league leaders from Munich visit their nearest challengers.

After the warm-up, tactical drills were the focus of the training session at Säbener Straße, finished off with some shooting practice. Midfielder Thiago missed the session due to muscular problems. “He’ll miss the game. Obviously I would’ve liked to have had him, but there are no other injuries,” confirmed coach Hansi Flick in Monday’s virtual press conference. fcbayern.com has rounded up the gaffer’s key quotes.

Flick on Borussia Dortmund

“BVB have gained a lot of stability in defence with the switch to 3-4-3. Everyone at Dortmund is good off the ball. They then gain the possession which they need to involve their quick attacking players. We need to prevent that and close the spaces – I don’t want to reveal any more than that. I can imagine that they’ll be defensive to start with, but if they do something different then we’ll certainly react well. In January they brought in two reinforcements, two players who bring huge character: Emre Can in defence and Erling Haaland in attack. They’re among the best teams in Europe. We have to be at our best and be prepared.”

On Haaland and the comparison to Lewandowski

“He’s a young player but he has a tremendous drive towards goal and he just wants to finish. He’s characterised by enormous dynamism – he’s hungry, has a big physique but is still mobile. We mustn’t just look out for him, though. It’s his first season, so it’s too early to compare with Lewy. Robert has played at a world-class level consistently for years, but Haaland is an enormous talent.”

On a possible decision in the title race

“After this match there are still several matches to play. It’s important that we push ourselves to the limit in every game. It’s great when two such good teams face each other.”

On David Alaba

“I’ve told him that I see him as a good centre-back. His development in that position has been excellent. He leads the team and gives commands, which you notice even more in a silent stadium. He’s very good at opening up the play from centre-back, initiating attacking moves with good passes. He can play through two lines, as Jérôme can too. I hope a player who has been educated at Bayern continues to be part of FCB.”

On Thomas Müller

“Thomas is a player who can lead a team very well and is constantly giving orders. He took up good positions in the game against Frankfurt and was always available – he brought energy to the game. Thomas has great experience, he has a very easy-going nature but he wants to win every game. He perfectly embodies ‘Mia san Mia’ and knows that he always has to play to his potential in order to be able to win games. I’m glad he’s in this form.”

On Leon Goretzka

“He made a lot of interceptions against Frankfurt and was aggressive, which is very important in that defensive midfield role. He’s gained muscle weight, which is benefitting his game. Leon is coming along well. Previously he was a bit more attacking, in a number ten or eight role, but in defensive midfield he can demonstrate his strength, those runs forward. He interprets that differently to Thiago. I’m happy to have options in that position.”

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