Bayern wary of ‘last dice roll’ from Sevilla: Robben

Bayern midfielder Arjen Robben pictured during a press conference on April 10, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Sevilla
AFP

Munich (Germany) (AFP) – Arjen Robben says Bayern Munich can take nothing for granted against Sevilla in Wednesday’s home quarter-final after the Spaniards dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League in the previous round.

Bayern have one foot in a seventh European semi-final in nine years after earning a 2-1 away win at Sevilla in last week’s first leg.

However, Sevilla have already given a clear demonstration of how dangerous they are away from home in Europe. 

After a goalless draw in Seville in the last 16, they knocked Jose Mourinho’s United out with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford last month with French striker Wissam Ben Yedder netting both goals.

Robben warns Bayern must be on their guard, especially given their track record of elimination by Spanish teams in the knockout phases in each of the last four seasons.

“We need to be careful,” said Robben.

“It’s the last roll of the dice for Sevilla and they will give it their all.

“Everyone is talking about the semis, but if we win, then we can talk about that.

“A 2-1 win away from home is always great, but it’s not the same as 5-0 against Besiktas (at home in the last 16).

“They (Sevilla) did brilliantly in Manchester and we know we have to perform.”

Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes expects Sevilla to attack from the first whistle in Munich.

“They will certainly go on the offensive,” said Heynckes.

“If you lose 2-1 at home, you have to take the initiative — and that is certainly what Sevilla will do.

“They have to take risks and score two goals in our stadium.

“They are a team who press well, but we know what we can do.

“We’re in a good mood, we’re hungry and our big goal is to reach the semi-finals.”

– Ruthless at home –

The Bavarian giants have been merciless recently at the Allianz Arena.

Both Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund were demolished by a 6-0 margin in the last two home games.

Heynckes is wary of the return of midfielder Ever Banega — the “heart” of the Sevilla team — with the Argentinian playmaker back from suspension.

With one eye on a potential semi-final, Bayern’s stars must be careful.

Top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 35 goals in 39 games for Bayern this season, is just one yellow card away from a ban.

The same applies to Franck Ribery, Joshua Kimmich, Corentin Tolisso, Jerome Boateng and Sebastian Rudy.

Heynckes said Boateng is fit despite a bruised foot.

The Germany centre-back picked up the knock when Bayern were confirmed Bundesliga champions for the sixth straight season with a 4-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday.

However, both left-back David Alaba, back in training after a back injury, and midfielder Arturo Vidal, who has a knock, are unlikely to play.

Bayern have reason for optimism about going into the draw for the semi-finals on Friday.

Sevilla are winless in their four games since winning at Old Trafford and crashed to a 4-0 league defeat at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Sevilla midfielder Franco Vazquez says his team should not be written off.

“I don’t think it’s impossible,” said the Italy international.

“We know it will be very difficult, but we are full of confidence and belief that we can play our best to give ourselves a chance.

“My team-mates and I don’t care what others think.

“You have to respect Sevilla because we are here for a reason – nobody gifted us our place here.”

Pressure is mounting on head coach Vincenzo Montella, especially after poor defending at Vigo, but a win in Munich would ease the situation.

“It’s important that we are in the match for the whole 90 minutes,” said Montella. “We need to have balance.

“We don’t need to score as quickly as possible.

“We know we can score a goal or two in the second half, but we have to avoid conceding.”

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