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Impossible for Bayern to underestimate Lazio, says Ballack

By Dom Farrell

Munich, February 23: Michael Ballack has no doubt Bayern Munich will tackle Lazio in a professional manner when their Champions League campaign resumes this week.

European champions Bayern are aiming to take the next step towards back-to-back continental crowns when they travel to Rome for the first leg of a last-16 tie on Tuesday (February 23).

Hansi Flick's men have been in poor form since their return from winning the Club World Cup in Qatar, slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on the back of a 3-3 draw at home to Bundesliga strugglers Arminia Bielefeld.

Nevertheless, Ballack feels focus will be sharpened once more when Bayern are faced with Simone Inzaghi's side, who lie fifth in Serie A.

"The papers make it clear who the favourites are to win this game. But that sometimes makes it dangerous," Ballack told Stats Perform News.

"Although you have to say that with Bayern Munich, their focus, structure and mentality will make it impossible to underestimate their opponent.

"This will be two games where I think they will be able to go through. The togetherness is clear, and their form is getting better again.

"That's why I think that Bayern will progress to the next round."

Experience could prove crucial, with Bayern into the knockout rounds for a 13th consecutive campaign.

In 12 of the previous 14 seasons they have progressed to at least the quarter-finals.

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Story first published: Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 0:10 [IST]
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