Lewandowski admits Bayern must step up against Dortmund
The German champions are four points off the pace heading into Der Klassiker.
Robert Lewandowski feels Bayern Munich must offer “something new” to close the gap on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern head into Der Klassiker with Dortmund on Saturday in the unusual position of trailing their great rivals.
Dortmund hold a four-point advantage over the German champions and could equal the club record of 11 Bundesliga games without defeat.
“They’re a young team with many young players,” former Dortmund striker Lewandowski told FC Bayern.tv ahead of the Signal Iduna Park clash.
“They’re creative, they’re attack-minded. They have good players.
“We have to focus on our tasks out on the pitch. It’s important to us, we’re experienced.
“But it’s Der Klassiker, it’s a really unique match.
“You have to play well from the first to the last minute, and probably offer something new, play differently.”
Bayern lost further ground in the title race last weekend when mid-table Freiburg drew 1-1 in Munich.
But the Bavarians received a Champions League confidence boost in midweek as Lewandowski struck twice in a 2-0 victory over AEK Athens.
“I think we have taken a first step in the Champions League,” the Poland international said.
“Now we have to take another crucial step against Dortmund. We know it’s not going to be easy.
“We know how Dortmund have been playing this season, even if their last two displays weren’t perfect, and we really have to give it 100 per cent.
“If we succeed we’ll have a two-week (international) break, and it’s a period when you have fresh ideas and return with new hope.”
Arjen Robben will be assessed, but Bayern have no other fitness concerns with under-fire boss Niko Kovac wary of Dortmund’s challenge.
“They’re very well drilled in every area. To find weaknesses, you’d need a magnifying glass!” Kovac said at his pre-match press conference.
“They’re very stable and compact defensively, they can switch play quickly and have great players, some of whom will surely be world-class one day.
“They’ve got a good mix at the moment.”
Spain striker Paco Alcacer has a Bundesliga-best seven goals to his name, while England youngster Jadon Sancho has a league-high six assists.
Dortmund, however, suffered a first defeat of the season on Tuesday when losing 2-0 to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
“We have many young players who need their time. At the age of 19 or 20, you are not mature yet,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said at his pre-match press conference.
“Looking at the season, we have made good progress. But we still have much to do, including tactics.
“Bayern remains Bayern. We have to bring a top performance.
“From defence to attack they have a lot of experience. We must be smart without and without the ball.”
Injured full-back Marcel Schmelzer misses out for Dortmund and goalkeeper Roman Burki faces a fitness test on a thigh injury suffered against Atletico.
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