Berlin: Brazil defender Dante has targeted three Bundesliga points at Augsburg on Saturday to get Bayern Munich back to winning ways ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Manchester United.
“The best way to get ready for Manchester United is to play well against Augsburg,” said centre-back Dante ahead of the Bavarian derby.
“We need to go into the challenges will full power and play with full concentration.”
Bayern have drawn their last two matches — an unusual state of affairs for the Bavarian giants this season.
Having won the title with a record seven games to spare following their 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin ten days ago, Dante admits the European champions have suffered a slight dip.
With the title already confirmed, Bayern were held to a 3-3 league draw at home to Hoffenheim last Saturday, then 1-1 at Old Trafford against Manchester United in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
“After winning the title in Berlin, things were a bit complicated, but I get the impression that we’re back now and we will be at full throttle again,” Dante said.
The Brazilian was suspended for Old Trafford and is itching for his chance against Augsburg ahead of Wednesday’s second leg against David Moyes’ United.
“We’re already champions, but we definitely won’t go to Augsburg and give anything away,” Dante said. “It’s a derby, we have to win for our fans.”
Bayern will be without reserve left-back Diego Contento, who has damaged a ligament in his left ankle, meaning first-choice David Alaba is likely to start at Augsburg.
Bayern are aiming to become the first team to go through a Bundesliga season unbeaten and are on a record undefeated league run of 53 German league matches, dating back to October 2012.
Meanwhile, reacting to reports in the English media, Bayern have denied accreditation, for the second leg against Manchester United, to Daily Mirror and The Sun journalists.
“UK media the Daily Mirror and The Sun published disrespectful, discriminatory and personally insulting ‘reports’ about our player Bastian Schweinsteiger. This is unacceptable to FC Bayern Munich and the club strongly condemns reporting of this nature,” the club said in an official statement via their webpage on Thursday, reports Xinhua.
The Sun headlined on Wednesday “You Schwein” and the Daily Mirror covered a story captioned “Your Dirty Schwein”.
Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the equaliser against Manchester United before he was sent off for his second yellow card in the dying minutes of the game.
“FC Bayern Munich will not issue media accreditation to any representatives of the Daily Mirror and The Sun for the return fixture between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United at the Allianz Arena April 9, 2014,” the statement added.
Lewandowski back for Borussia
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund host VfL Wolfsburg needing a confidence-boosting win ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg clash against Real Madrid having lost 3-0 in Spain in the first-leg. Dortmund will welcome back Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who was suspended for the first leg in Madrid.
“First, we need to get a positive result against Wolfsburg on Saturday, and then we’ll mobilise the troops for the return (against Real Madrid),” Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said.
Wolfsburg have won their last two games and are just a point behind fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who are in danger of dropping out of the Champions League places completely for next season.
Sami Hyypia’s Leverkusen are at relegation-threatened Hamburg on Friday with the hosts second from bottom and with just six games left to avoid a historic first relegation from Germany’s top flight.
Third-placed Schalke 04 head to Werder Bremen looking to close the two-point gap behind Dortmund with Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng back after suspension, while Bremen playmaker Aaron Hunt sat out training this week with a thigh injury.
At the bottom of the table there are some key relegation battles with VfB Stuttgart looking to escape the bottom three when they host Freiburg.
On Sunday, bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig host Hanover with 3,000 police expected on duty for the Lower Saxony derby with the neighbouring clubs just 60 kilometres apart.