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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Football

Munich head to Bayer after Arsenal 'wake-up' call
AFP
Berlin, March 15, 2013
First Published: 07:39 IST(15/3/2013)
Last Updated: 07:40 IST(15/3/2013)

Bayer Leverkusen manager Sami Hyypia has said his side can expect to bear the brunt of Bayern Munich's Champions League defeat to Arsenal when they take on the runaway Bundesliga leaders on Saturday.

Bayern scraped into Friday's draw for the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after losing 2-0 at home in Munich on Wednesday having won the first-leg 3-1 in London three weeks ago.

Third-placed Leverkusen have won just three of their last 10 league games and ex-Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia admits his team can expect a Bayern backlash.

"It will be hard for us. We'll have to be at our best and give 100 percent," said ex-Finland centre-back Hyypia.

"Anything less and we'll have no chance. I don't know if the (Arsenal) defeat was a good or a bad thing from our perspective."

Munich are 20 points clear at the top and can be crowned Bundesliga champions on April 6 at Eintracht Frankfurt if they win their next three games, but defeat to Arsene Wenger's Gunners was a reality check.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness has accused the team of producing "rubbish" football in the last three weeks.

The Bavarians laboured to a 1-0 league win at strugglers Hoffenheim then twice came back for a 3-2 win over Duesseldorf before the Arsenal defeat.

"For the last three weeks we have played like rubbish and that's not on," fumed Hoeness.

Dutch wing Arjen Robben said the Arsenal defeat was a reality check.

"Perhaps this is a wake-up call. We were being praised from all sides, the best team here, the best team there, it was coming from all angles. But just look what can happen," said Robben.

Bayern are set to welcome back Germany midfield star Bastian Schweinsteiger and centre-back Jerome Boateng, who were both suspended for the Arsenal defeat, while Franck Ribery should have recovered from an ankle knock.

Second-placed Dortmund are home to Freiburg looking to bounce back from their Ruhr derby defeat at neighbours Schalke last weekend.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski is on the verge of a new club record having scored in each of his last seven league games to equal the record set by Germany's Timo Konietzka in 1964/65.

Captain Sebastian Kehl is out with broken ribs, while Sven Bender has flu, meaning ex-Liverpool midfielder Nuri Sahin is likely to partner Ilkay Gundogan in the defensive midfield.

Champions League quarter-finalists Dortmund can expect to be without Mats Hummels for several weeks after the centre-back tore ankle ligaments.

Freiburg, who are eighth and challenging for a European place, will be without influential Congo midfielder Cedrick Makiadi, who has damaged knee ligaments.

Fresh from their midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Galatasaray, fourth-placed Schalke 04 are at mid-table Nuremberg looking for their fourth straight league win.


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