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New coach, new tactics

‘We’re already playing to a high standard’

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It’s been a summer of change at Bayern, with a new coach, new players, and a new tactical approach. But the time of preparation is over, and the action restarts for real on Saturday when FCB visit TSG Hoffenheim in the opening fixture of the new Bundesliga campaign. Boss Louis Van Gaal and his men are brimming with expectation and desire ahead of the first matchday. The coach believes his team are ready, but is also well aware that there is plenty of room to improve. However, the chips are down for the first time at the weekend. “We know it’ll be a very tough away game, but afterwards, we’ll also know where we stand,” Van Gaal told in an exclusive pre-season interview.

The Dutch supremo has spent the last five weeks introducing his squad to a revamped set of tactics. Bayern will normally continue to line up in a 4-4-2 formation, but Van Gaal favours a midfield diamond with a classic playmaker. “It’s good for the strikers, but it’s different and we’ll need to get used to it,” Miroslav Klose acknowledged. “The coach wants us to take up wide positions and have the playmaker follow up through the middle.”