Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia insists his team can defeat Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday suggesting “anything is possible.”
Die Werkself have gone 23 years without a victory away to the Bavarians, who set a league record for the best start this season after eight wins in eight matches.
Hyypia believes the momentum from Thursday’s 4-0 thrashing of Rapid Vienna in the Europa League can help his side break their Munich hoodoo.
“It is going to be tough for us, but you never know – anything is possible in football. Even winning 4-0 in front of 50,000 hostile fans, which is what Leverkusen did at the Ernst-Happel Stadion against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League,” said the Finnish legend to Bundesliga.de.
“It was good to see that we performed for the 90 minutes. I think that gives us confidence for the future because we saw how many goals we can score.”
Sunday’s clash at the Allianz Arena kicks of at 17:30CET.
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has warned his side that claiming victory will be a tough task when they host Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.
The Bavarians sit pretty at the top of the Bundesliga, crucially nine point clear of current champions Borussia Dortmund, having amassed eight wins on the trot.
However, the 67-year-old has warned them not to underestimate their opponents, who are in a good run of their own of late.
“They are in very good shape at the moment,” he commented at a press conference. “They play flowing, attractive football and they are very skilful.
“We would be well-advised to keep our feet on the ground, approach it professionally, and not rely on statistics. Instead, we should carry on doing what we’ve been doing in the league so far.”
Club captain Philipp Lahm echoed his coach’s thoughts regarding the upcoming encounter, maintaining his team-mates would have to be on their toes when entertaining the Werkself.
“From the start, we must be wide awake,” he insisted. “Leverkusen are a dangerous team. “However, if we impose our authority on the game, there can only be one winner, and that will be us.”
The trio of Franck Ribery, Daniel Van Buyten and Javi Martinez will be absent for the home side, who have been boosted by the return of Arjen Robben.
Rudi Voller has stressed that Bayer Leverkusen will have to be at their very best in order to get a result in Sunday’s Bundesliga match away to Bayern Munich.
B04 have not won an away game against Bayern for 23 years, and the former Germany international is desperate for them to end their losing streak in Munich this weekend.
“We’ve beaten Bayern a couple of times at home, but not in Munich,” Voller was quoted as saying on the official Bayern Munich website.
“Well, it’s partly because Bayern are always so strong at home. We’ve come close a couple of times, but just fallen a fraction short. But we’ve not given up hope yet and we’ll give it another try this Sunday.
“Obviously, when you visit the Allianz Arena, you need the ultimate perfect day to come away with anything from Munich, and you need Bayern not to have the same kind of day.”
Thomas Muller has stressed that Bayern Munich are well aware of the fact that they have not achieved anything yet as there is still a long way to go in the title race.
The Bavarians have won their opening eight Bundesliga games and have a five-point lead in the table over second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.
Nevertheless, Muller is not getting carried away following Bayern’s perfect start to the season.
“The coach keeps on reminding us that we have not achieved anything yet and keeps us grounded,” Muller stated to Bild.
“We all realise that we haven’t won the league yet, regardless of our perfect start. With the last two seasons in mind, we will definitely not get complacent.”
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was equally cautious as he pointed out Bayern appeared to be on their way to Bundesliga glory last season, too, before eventually having to settle for second place.
“We were in a similar situation last term. Yet we did not win the Bundesliga title then. We are not getting carried away.”
Bayern are currently preparing for Sunday’s league match against Bayer Leverkusen.
Bayern Munich are likely to be without the services of Franck Ribery, who was a doubt heading into Tuesday’s clash with Lille, and lasted just 45 minutes against his old club.
Should the Frenchman fail to recover his fitness in time for Sunday’s match, he will be replaced on the left wing by Xherdan Shaqiri.
Elsewhere, David Alaba continued his comeback from a foot injury with a short cameo in France, but is unlikely to start against Leverkusen, with Holger Badstuber continuing as a makeshift left-back and Dante starting in the middle.
Finally, Luiz Gustavo could replace Javi Martinez, who put in another disappointing performance for his new club in midweek, while Mario Mandzukic will continue up front, with Mario Gomez still recovering from pre-season ankle surgery.
Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen are likely to be without Michal Kadlec, who limped out of Thursday’s 4-0 win over Rapid Vienna in the 10th minute, after a heavy challenge. Lars Bender came from the bench to replace the defender, but took up a berth in midfield, with Hajime Hosogai slotting in at left-back.
The only other confirmed absence for Sami Hyypia’s side is Renato Augusto, who has a torn thigh muscle. After scoring in the Austrian capital, Karim Bellarabi should retain his place on the right wing ahead of the fit-again Sidney Sam.
- The Bavarians won this fixture last season 3-0, with Thomas Muller, Daniel Van Buyten and Arjen Robben grabbing the goals.
- Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos (pictured, right) spent 2009-10 on loan at the BayArena as a youngster looking for experience. Coach Jupp Heynckes also moved to the Allianz Arena from Leverkusen.
- Bayer Leverkusen are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but have drawn three of the five Bundesliga games in that run.
- The last time the Werkself claimed all three points at the Allianz Arena was on matchday 14 of the 1989-1990 season.
- Leverkusen beat Bayern 4-2 at home en route to the 2008-09 DFB-Pokal final, which they eventually went on to lose to Werder Bremen.