Hansi Flick says Bayern Munich must be wary of a Holstein Kiel side with “nothing to lose” when they meet in the second round of the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.
Holders Bayern will travel to Holstein-Stadion smarting from squandering a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga last Friday.
Kiel are third in 2. Bundesliga and will be eyeing a shock when they take on the European champions for the first time.
Bayern head coach Flick, who is set to welcome the fit-again Serge Gnabry back into his squad, warned the Bavarian giants will be in for a battle against the second-tier side.
He said in a press conference on Tuesday: “Holstein Kiel have got nothing to lose.
“I follow them closely, I know Uwe Stover very well and I’ve known him for a long time, so naturally I follow their progress more closely.
“Their team has strengthened a lot – they have a clear plan and they like to attack.”
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Flick added: “We will be taking this task seriously. We are expected to win this game, but it’s not always possible to meet these expectations.”
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting misses out with a back injury, while Kingsley Coman will not be risked as Flick revealed the winger is “feeling some discomfort in his muscles.”
Flick will not make a decision on who will make the trip to Kiel until the day of the game.
“We will train as normal on Wednesday ahead of the game, then we will decide who is to travel to Kiel with us,” he said.
“There are a lot of games at the moment and we’re spending a lot of time in hotels, which is why we’re not traveling until matchday.”