Jerome Boateng believes Bayern Munich's Bundesliga opener against Hamburg on Friday is "dangerous" and has warned fans not to expect the defending champions to "destroy every opponent" this season.
Bayern start their quest for a fourth successive domestic league crown against a side that secured their top-flight safety via the play-offs last season. Pep Guardiola's men are overwhelming favourites to claim the three points at the Allianz Arena but Boateng believes his former club will prove tricky opponents.
"It is dangerous, they have nothing to lose," he told reporters. "But if we are aggressive and focused I won't worry. We won't underestimate Hamburg, however, or make them smaller than they are."
Bayern finished 10 points ahead of Wolfsburg last season and enjoyed winning margins of 19 and 25 points in the two campaigns before that.
Despite that impressive record, Boateng is wary of making bold predictions and expects the odd bad day for the Bavarian giants.
He added: "The most important thing is to get a good start to the season and that is a win, no matter how it is achieved. Nevertheless people must not expect us to destroy every opponent. We are human beings and it's absolutely normal to have some bad games as well.
"We have lots of competitors like Wolfsburg, Dortmund, Monchengladbach and Leverkusen."
Guardiola has strengthened an already formidable Bayern squad with Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa during the transfer window, and Boateng is relishing the prospect of working with the former in particular.
He said: "He is a player that gives everything at any time. He knows that he has to be calmer and smarter in some situations but he has lots of quality and will definitely help us."
Boateng's career has been plagued by fitness issues but he believes he now has a greater understanding of what his body needs to remain injury free.
"I care for myself and my body and I eat well," he said. "Sometimes you are simply unlucky but you can prevent injuries on the other hand as well. When you get older, you get to know your body better and you can react earlier or quit training."
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