Bayern Munich's Polish goalscoring powerhouse Robert Lewandowski has warned UEFA Champions League semi-final opponents Real Madrid that the Bundesliga giants will be primed to attack on home soil in Wednesday's mammoth first leg at the Allianz Arena.
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Speaking to FCBayern.TV ahead of the teams' fourth knockout tie in the past seven seasons, the on-fire Lewandowski - a scorer of 39 goals in 43 games thus far in 2017/18 - said both he and his teammates were in fine spirits having recently collected a sixth successive Bundesliga title while also reaching the DFB Cup final.
"I think the mood in the team is very good," the 29-year-old said. "We've demonstrated that we are in good shape recently. We're fired up for every match and now it's against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League."
Watch: So, just what makes Lewandowski so special?
The only player to register four goals in a Champions League last four meeting, Lewandowski managed the remarkable feat against Real while at Borussia Dortmund in 2013. With his overall goals tally in the tournament's semi-finals currently standing at six, many expect the Warsaw wizard will be central to Bayern's chances of downing a Real team that got the better of the Bavarian giants at last season's quarter-final stage.
"If you want to make it to the final you have to beat all of your opponents," he said. "We know what Real Madrid achieved in the last two years [winning the European Cup twice in succession]. We really have to be very focused.
"If Real make a mistake, we have to try to exploit the situation and score. But we also have to be really well organised in defence. We know we can make it against Real Madrid, even if they're top opponents. It'll be a tough match. I hope it'll also be an interesting game and that at the end of the day we'll be happier than them."
Although wary of the threat posed by visiting attacker Cristiano Ronaldo - who has netted nine times in six appearances against Bayern - Lewandowski was eager to point out that all of Real's star turns would need to be watched on a night that's certain to be filled with tension and drama
"We know Ronaldo has already scored quite a few goals against Bayern," Lewy said. "I hope he won't add to it this year. But the main thing is the whole team's performance, not only Cristiano Ronaldo's. We know their other players are really good and are capable of scoring, too. We have to watch every player. But if we stick to our game and live up to our full potential, Real Madrid might have problems, too."
The most recent chapter in this continuing European saga went all the way to extra time last season, before the ten men of Bayern eventually succumbed to the eventual champions. This time around, Bayern's lethal striker played down talk of payback, saying he expects things to pan out differently.
"Revege? It's another season altogether, another year. What happened last year is history. We know every match is different just as every season is different. When we take on Real Madrid now it will be completely different to last year. What happened last year isn't on our minds. Sure, two matches against Real Madrid: the semi-finals, really big games. But we're in a different position compared to last year."
Appearing in the last four of the Champions League for an incredible eleventh time, Jupp Heynckes' men will nonetheless want to reverse a trend that has seen them fail to advance past their last three semi-finals. Solid home form in this year's tournament has seen the 2013 winners win four and draw one of their five games at the Allianz Arena, a venue which will once again need to be a fortress on Wednesday against a team Lewandowski has labelled favourites.
Watch: Bayern prepare for Real test with Hannover triumph.
"If you win the Champions League two years running, that makes you the favourites, that's clear," he explained. "But that doesn't mean you'll automatically go through. [On the night], we will always have to finish our moves, no matter what happens; always attack and try to score. This is the Champions League: you have to watch every little detail and try to play the best that you can."