Created on 01-10-2013 at 19:40 PM
Just hours ahead of the Champions League clash against Manchester City, Bayern finished their final training session at Etihad Stadium in the east of the city. All 20 players participated in the training session and Pep Guardiola was pleased to announce: “All my players are fit and ready to play.”
In the obligatory pre-match press conference, Guardiola talked up the strength of Wednesday night’s opponents: “Manchester City are one of the strongest teams in Europe. They have an incredible coach and an incredible line-up,” the Catalan said. He also does not think the Blues will crumble in the group stage, as they have done in the past two years: “I’m certain they will qualify for the Round of 16. This will be a good test for us.”
Guardiola holds Manchester City's coach, Manuel Pellegrini, in especially high regard. The pair have crossed swords many times in Spain’s La Liga. However, Pellegrini has only ever managed to take one point off Guardiola’s Barcelona in games against the Catalans with Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga. “I know Manuel very well and I’m impressed how he leaves his fingerprints on all of his teams,” Guardiola said.
For Jérôme Boateng, the final training session was a return to his old stamping ground, because the centre half played for Manchester City in the 2010/11 season. He said he was “happy I can be here again. I had a good season with City and got to know many friends, who I stay in touch with.” This is especially true with regards to Vincent Kompany and Patrick Vieira.
“We will be facing a very strong team tomorrow. You only have to look at the team sheet. We need this type of opponent,” Boateng insisted, looking forward to the match. Guardiola signed off with a rallying call: “We’re here to win.”