Football

Griezmann: Bayern lack Pep

Atletico attacker says German side are not as good as last season

champions league       GROUP D
BAYERN MUNICH ATLETICO MADRID

Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann believes that Bayern Munich have lost a bit of their fear factor as his side prepare to visit the Allianz Arena.

The Spanish side knocked Bayern out of the Champions League in the semi-finals last season and a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture has helped them wrap up top spot in their group ahead of tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) trip to Munich.

Their aim will be to end the group stage with a perfect record of six wins out of six, and Griezmann believes that is not out of the question.

"They are technically no longer as good as they were under Pep Guardiola," Griezmann told Germany's Sky Sport.

However, the 25-year-old, who is on the shortlist for the world's best footballer of 2016 along with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, does not believe it will be a walk in the park for his team.

While Bayern may not have the quality they had under Guardiola - in Griezmann's eyes - they have greater depth to their game than they did under the Catalan.

"They have become dangerous in a different way and are perhaps even harder to fathom now," said the Frenchman.

"They come at you down the right, the left and through the middle, and that makes it hard to defend against them."

Especially against Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller, even if the latter has yet to score in the Bundesliga this season.

"Lewandowski's a monster in front of goal," Griezmann said.

"And Mueller's a top player who I really enjoy watching.

"We will do all we can to get a draw or even a win there. I would take a nice draw, let's say a 1-1."

While Bayern are already resigned to finishing second behind the Spanish club, they will nevertheless be keen to end the group phase by gaining a bit of revenge against the side who ended their title dreams prematurely last term.

Their overall record against Spanish sides is positive, although they have lost five of their last seven meetings with Iberian clubs, most painfully in each of the last three Champions League semi-finals against Atletico, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Philipp Lahm will draw level with Oliver Kahn on 102 Champions League appearances - a club record - should he lead Bayern onto the field, while Holger Badstuber and Xabi Alonso are both options for coach Carlo Ancelotti after returning to training on Sunday. - PA SPORT

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