Bayern Munich defender Dante has vowed to work hard to keep his place in the side, despite the impending return of left-back David Alaba.
The Austrian sustained a pre-season foot injury, forcing Holger Badstuber to slot in as a make-shift full-back, with the Brazilian in the heart of defence.
However, the youngster is nearing a comeback, and the former Borussia Monchengladbach man has accepted that he may find game time harder to come across.
“[Alaba] is a great player,” he told TZ. “It’s amazing how far he has got for his age, and he will help the team a lot.
“I’m sure that the coach will also rotate the defence. Who plays is the decision of the coach. Whatever happens, I will continue to work hard.”
Dante went on to praise Bayern duo Franck Ribery and Javi Martinez’s football ability, and revealed that he has a great rapport with the €40 million Spaniard.
“[Ribery] has incredible skills, is quick, nimble and agile. What impresses me even more about him is how hard he works on himself.
“For every game he is fully concentrated, and he wants only thing: win, win, and win. Franck is an unbelievable character.”
“[Martinez] is a great guy and a great player. We understand each other well, and talk and especially laugh a lot.”
Bayern will look to maintain their perfect Bundesliga record this season when they travel to Dusseldorf on Saturday.
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has insisted that Saturday’s Bundesliga encounter against Fortuna Dusseldorf is not about setting a new record as the Bavarians are only focused on bagging three points.
The Allianz Arena side have won their opening seven league games, and can become the first team in the history of the Bundesliga to remain flawless in their first eight games if they beat Dusseldorf at the weekend.
“Records mean nothing to me. They’re for the archive, for the stats,” Heynckes stated at a press conference.
“The players are in the mood and very motivated. I think my team will carry on where they left off against Hoffenheim.
“I think we face a major challenge.”
Meanwhile, Jerome Boateng was quick to agree with his coach that Saturday’s encounter is all about the team’s success.
“It’s not about setting some kind of record. What matters is success as a team and a good performance. We have very important weeks ahead of us.
“We want to stay at the top and maintain the gap.”
Saturday’s encounter kicks off at 15:30CET.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has revealed that current first-team boss Jupp Heynckes could carry on after the end of the season.
The 67-year-old’s contract at Allianz Arena is set to expire at the conclusion of the current campaign, and there is a growing suspicion that the former Borussia Monchengladbach man will step aside when his deal ends.
However, Hoeness has poured cold water on the notion that sporting director Matthias Sammer should begin looking for Heycnkes’ replacement, insisting that a collective decision on whether or not the trainer will continue will be made for the good of the club.
“Matthias Sammer doesn’t have to look for a new manager at the moment, as we really don’t know whether we need one” he told Sky Sports News.
“Nobody here determines the future of FC Bayern alone, instead we come to what are hopefully the ultimately correct decisions together.
“Any decision could mean Jupp Heynckes continuing for another year.”
Heynckes’ tenure with the Bavarian giants has been plagued by suggestions of discord between him and Sammer, but Hoeness dismissed these notions as nothing more than a media campaign intent on creating conflict at the club.
“The media has been trying to drive a wedge between the two from day one,” he said. “On occasions they have managed to, but they won’t succeed in the long run.”
Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has admitted that he has been in touch with AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng to talk about the Bundesliga giants’ alleged plans to re-unite the half brothers.
Recent reports from Germany suggested that Bayern are closely monitoring the 25-year-old’s situation at the Rossoneri, and although the midfielder revealed earlier this week that he is unaware of any potential interest, both siblings have already discussed the matter.
“We have already talked about it a few times,” Jerome was quoted as saying by AZ.
“I do not know how concrete it all is, though. It seems as if it’s just some distant rumours for now.”
The midfielder then went on to stress that Bayern cannot afford to lose focus again like they did last term, when they collapsed after a good start to the season and were pipped to the title by Borussia Dortmund.
“We can’t let that happen again. It’s crucial that we also win the games, where we are not at our best. We know that it will be very difficult to beat us as long as we stick together like a team.”
Bayern currently hold a five-point lead over second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga table.
Bayern Munich will look to maintain their perfect record in the league so far this season, breaking yet another Bundesliga record in the process, when they travel to the Esprit Arena to face Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Jupp Heynckes is expected to play the same back line that he has done in every Bundesliga fixture so far this season but David Alaba could be in line for a return to the starting line-up.
Javi Martinez is replaced by Luiz Gustavo in midfield while, with Arjen Robben still absent through injury, Thomas Muller will continue to operate on the right. This enables Toni Kroos to play in his preferred role in behind the striker, a position which Mario Mandzukic holds onto as Mario Gomez continues his return to fitness.
The hosts, who lost their first game this term when they were defeated by Mainz in the last round of fixtures, have a few fitness worries ahead of their clash with the league leaders. Stelios Malezas is out with a thigh injury and so Jens Langeneke will be partnered by Juanan in the centre of defence.
Elsewhere, captain Andreas Lambertz and Robbie Kruse face late fitness tests, meaning that Andriy Voronin and Cha Du-Ri could find themselves among the starting line-up.
- However, in the 44 times that these two sides have met, F95 have only managed to secure another nine victories. (W10 D9 L25)
- The last time that Dusseldorf managed to best die Roten in front of their own fans was in a 4-0 win back in the 1985-86 season.
- Bayern Munich could set a new record for the best start to a Bundesliga campaign should they win their eighth consecutive match on Saturday.
- Mario Mandzukic (pictured, right) has netted eight goals in 10 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarians this season. It took him 27 games to reach the same tally in his debut season at Wolfsburg.
- To this day, the 7-1 defeat inflicted by this weekend’s opposition remains the heaviest away defeat suffered by Bayern in Bundesliga history.