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Lahm and Kroos tackle Napoli conundrum

Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 16.12CET
Philipp Lahm wants FC Bayern München to prove they are "lord of the manor" in Munich but Toni Kroos concedes that SSC Napoli's tactics are a worry for the Group A leaders.
by Ben Gladwell
from Munich
Lahm and Kroos tackle Napoli conundrum
Philipp Lahm and Bayern found Napoli to be a tough nut to crack ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BayernNapoli

Goals scored26
 
14
Attempts on target98
 
31
Attempts off target83
 
47
Corners83
 
48
Offsides17
 
27
Fouls committed209
 
120
Yellow cards29
 
21
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Tuesday 1 November 2011, 16.12CET

Lahm and Kroos tackle Napoli conundrum

Philipp Lahm wants FC Bayern München to prove they are "lord of the manor" in Munich but Toni Kroos concedes that SSC Napoli's tactics are a worry for the Group A leaders.

FC Bayern München may have scored 33 goals without conceding in their last nine home games but that counts for little according to captain Philipp Lahm.

Our aim is to win the group and we will show tomorrow who is lord of the manor
Philipp Lahm
Their wide players are more like out-and-out wingers than wing backs so who should mark them – our attackers or our defenders?
Toni Kroos

The Bavarians host SSC Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday looking to preserve and extend that remarkable record while remembering the fact that a few blots on the copybook against Napoli and then Villarreal CF could render previous results superfluous. "We are in good form but we have not won anything yet," said defender Lahm. "We know we must keep our focus for all our games. Our aim is to win the group and we will show tomorrow who is lord of the manor."

His German international team-mate Toni Kroos echoed that sentiment. "If we can keep another clean sheet we will be happy," the midfielder said. "We have a great home record in the league and the Champions League, but we have not achieved anything concrete yet and still have a long way to go before we can. I am sure we will face more resistance than maybe we did in our most recent Bundesliga games."

A victory over Napoli in Munich would not only put Bayern, who lead Group A by two points from the Italian side, in command of the section; it also would set them up to seal a last-16 place at home to Villarreal on matchday five. However, Kroos said: "Villarreal have not entered our heads yet as we have the Napoli game first, but when that game does come around we will not underestimate them. Our ultimate aim is to seal our passage in our next home game [against Villarreal] and if we don't do that, we will just have to do it in Manchester instead."

Napoli held Bayern to a 1-1 draw on matchday three – no small achievement given the Bundesliga pacesetters' form under Jupp Heynckes – and posed them plenty of tough questions. "You don't come up against a three-man defence too often," Kroos said. "Their wide players are more like out-and-out wingers than wing backs so who should mark them – our attackers or our defenders? We dealt with them well at their place and gave up very few chances, but they are pretty dangerous."

Left-back Lahm knows that only too well having been detailed to handle Napoli's flying right-back Christian Maggio. "He is an excellent player who defends a lot but also likes to go forward," said the Germany captain. "We have to be more alert than in the first game when we did not cope that well with their system. It is not a tactic we come across in the Bundesliga that often, if ever, but now we are at home we want the three points. That is what Bayern expect."

Last updated: 02/11/11 20.11CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007625/prematch/focus/index.html#napoli+tactics+baffle+bayern

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