15 October 2014 17:02
Bayern Munich will look to extend their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season on Saturday when they entertain lowly Werder Bremen.
Pep Guardiola’s side have only dropped points in two of their opening seven matches and boast a 100 per cent record at the Allianz Arena.
Prior to the international break Bayern scored 14 goals without reply in seven matches in all competitions, an ominous sign to a winless Werder side who have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.
And Xabi Alonso believes the champions are only going to get better as the campaign goes on, with rock-bottom Werder the next target in their sights as they look to stretch their four-point lead at the top of the table.
“When you play for Bayern, you fight for everything,” the Spain international said. “Until now we have done it well.
“But we want to keep improving and, when it comes to the title, be at our peak in the second half [of the season].”
The only chink in Bayern’s armour that Werder may be able to exploit is the form of their Germany internationals, who have failed to win either of their games during the recent Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Miller and Mario Gotze all featured for Joachim Low’s side as they were beaten 2-0 by Poland and held to a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland.
Werder’s start to the season has been the polar opposite to their hosts with four draws producing their only points of the campaign.
They arrive in Munich with no win in their last six visits in all competitions, and having conceded 15 goals in the previous three league matches there.
Despite their poor record and terrible start to the season Austrian defender Sebastian Prodl believes they can cause Bayern problems.
“We will look to see if there are weaknesses in Bayern, and how can we play with our strengths against them,” he is quoted as saying by Bild.
“We have yet to hoist the white flag against any opponent.
“It must hurt Bayern to play against us. It must not be a pleasant game for them.”
Bayern will be without midfielder Thiago Alcantara after the Spain international suffered a fifth knee ligament injury in 14 months on Wednesday, but Franck Ribery could feature having returned to training from his own knee problem.
However, goalkeeper Pepe Reina (calf) has joined Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee) and Holger Badstuber (thigh) on the sidelines.
The visitors have no new injury concerns, though, with only long-term absentees Philipp Bargfrede (knee), Theodor Gebre Selassie (thigh), Julian von Haacke (knee) and Ozkan Yildirim (groin) unavailable to Robin Dutt.