Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola says their Champions League semi-final must be the last thing on his players’ minds when they face Werder Bremen in the German Cup last four on Tuesday.
Bremen earned their passage to the semi-final clash at Munich’s Allianz Arena by beating Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 in the quarter-finals, having also seen off Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cologne.
Bayern are chasing a repeat of their 2013 treble and face Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League semi-final, first leg on April 27.
With a seven-point lead, and four league games left including Saturday’s match at Hertha Berlin, Guardiola’s side are poised to make history by becoming the first club to win four straight Bundesliga titles.
But Guardiola says his players must blend everything else out against Bremen to book their place in the May 21 final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.
“We can only think of Werder, if we think about Atletico, then Bremen will reach the final, not us,” said the Spaniard, who is in his third and final season in Munich before leaving to coach Manchester City.
“It’s going to be difficult. It’s a cup match and anything can happen.
“You can be the better team and still lose, so: ‘Look Out!’
“If we think we’re already through, then it won’t happen. Bayer Leverkusen were the favourites against Bremen and look what happened.
“I am sure Bremen can beat Bayern, so I am not thinking about Atletico and Hertha.”
With Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin meeting in Wednesday’s other semi-final, Guardiola was dismissive when asked if he would rather face Dortmund in the final.
“I just want to reach the final. What would the Hertha Berlin think when I wished to face Dortmund?”
Bayern routed Bremen 5-0 in the league last month, but the underdogs have nothing to lose.
“You can achieve anything, that’s the crucial thing. If we don’t have faith, then we won’t be able to draw on the power needed. We go to Munich to believe,” said captain Clemens Fritz.
“We should all look forward to the game and head to Munich with courage. Anything is possible in one game.”
Bremen have their top-scorer Claudio Pizarro back from injury.
The 37-year-old has scored 15 goals in 27 games this season and Guardiola rates the Peru international, who he coached at Bayern until this season, as ‘one of the best strikers’ he has worked with.
“The lads like Fritz and Pizarro have enough experience,” said Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik.
“Everyone knows how difficult it is to reach a final, so we’ll have to try everything.”