David Alaba has warned Bayern Munich not to underestimate a wounded Werder Bremen when they begin their Bundesliga title defence on Friday.
Bremen suffered a shock DFB-Pokal first-round exit at the hands of third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte on Sunday, with Andre Dej netting the winner in a 2-1 victory.
Holders Bayern breezed into round two with a 5-0 victory over Carl Zeiss Jena and will head into Friday’s match in buoyant mood having won their last 13 encounters with Bremen in all competitions, with no goals conceded in their last five meetings.
Alaba, however, says his side must not allow complacency to affect their performance as they aim to make a winning start in their quest for a fifth league title in a row.
“They will work even harder, especially after their struggles in the cup,” he told Bayern’s TV channel. “Now they come to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern where they will be hoping to up their game.
“We need to take that into account and deal with it.
“Things feel really good on the pitch. Hopefully we can convey that when we play.”
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 21, 2016
Bayern’s clash will be their first since head coach Carlo Ancelotti appointed his son as one of his assistants.
Davide, 27, was a fitness coach at Madrid during his father’s spell in charge between 2013 and 2015 and has taken on a more senior role at the Allianz Arena.
“I support our coaches both in training and in pre-match preparations,” he told Bayern’s official website after his appointment last week. “On the training pitch, I explain exercises or just help out with the language.
“My father speaks German well but doesn’t understand everything yet. I like the language – it’s difficult but I find it very interesting.”