Arjen Robben has called on Bayern Munich to arrest their Bundesliga slump in the top-versus-bottom clash with Eintracht Braunschweig.
Bayern completed the defence of their title in record time, wrapping up the crown with seven games to spare at Hertha Berlin on March 25, and have also moved into the semi-finals of the Champions League and the DFB-Pokal final – meaning a second successive treble is on the cards.
However, Wednesday’s 5-1 demolition of second-tier Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals was Bayern’s first domestic victory in four games, as they have taken their foot off their gas since their title-wiining party in the capital.
Pep Guardiola’s men have earned just one point from their last three Bundesliga outings – a far cry from their run of 53 league matches without defeat, which came to an end at Augsburg two weeks ago.
A 3-0 loss at home to rivals Borussia Dortmund in last weekend’s Der Klassiker was particularly galling for the Bavarian giants, but they have the perfect chance to get back to winning ways at rock-bottom Braunschweig this weekend.
And Robben is looking for a timely boost ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
“We’re not quite at our best at the moment and there’s still room for improvement. We have to do better in the coming weeks, starting against (Eintracht) Braunschweig on Saturday,” the Dutchman told the official Bundesliga website.
“We have to show we’re ready. Winning is also important as it will help our confidence ahead of the Real game.”
For Braunschweig, time is fast running out to stave off the threat of relegation. Torsten Lieberknecht’s men are two points below the relegation play-off spot, while the gap to 15th – which guarantees safety – is three.
Braunschweig had been on a three-match unbeaten league run until they suffered a disappointing 2-0 setback at fellow strugglers Freiburg last weekend.
The hosts will be without defender Jan Washausen, with the 25-year-old suffering a serious knee injury in training on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the trip to Eintracht-Stadion is likely to come too soon for Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (calf), while full-back Rafinha begins his three-match ban after being sent off against Dortmund.