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Run-in to Christmas

Reds cautious prior to tricky Augsburg trip

Champions League? Qualified for the Round of 16 as runaway group winners. DFB Cup? No problems getting through to the last sixteen. FC Bayern can look back at a positive campaign leading up to the winter break. The reigning Club World Champions are still in both knockout competitions and the Reds lead the Bundesliga by seven points with three games left before Christmas.

“We’ve got the last three Bundesliga games and I obviously hope to get three wins. Then we’ll have a great Christmas. That’s what we’re aiming for,” said Thomas Müller after Wednesday night’s 3-0 win against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. The fixtures facing FC Bayern in the next eight days are not be to be taken lightly with FC Augsburg, SC Freiburg and FSV Mainz 05 all capable of causing problems for FC Bayern.

FCA against FCB - third against first

The next match against Bavarian neighbours FC Augsburg is an enthralling prospect. “First plays third. Before the start of the season, nobody predicted Augsburg would be in this position. But they’re having a very good Bundesliga campaign. It will be an interesting game,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “We’ll definitely show a lot of respect to Augsburg.”

And the FC Bayern players are well aware of the task ahead. The match against Augsburg will be harder than the Moscow clash, declared Arjen Robben. “Augsburg are in form. They’re on a good run and are a good team too.” FCA have won five of their last six games and the 24 points they’ve collected puts them eleven clear of the relegation play-off position. They are also the fourth best home team with five wins out of six.

FCA at 'a high level in terms of tactics'

“It’s always difficult to play there. Augsburg do well due to their team spirit. They’re solid and they have a clear idea of how to play football. It’s not easy to go there and get a result,” said Manuel Neuer. “It’s no surprise they’re in third place. But that says a lot about them. That shows they have quality and work very well as a team. You could see that last season,” said Mario Götze. FCB lost 1-0 at Augsburg last term.

“Augsburg have come on brilliantly. Their coach Markus Weinzierl has done an incredible job,” declared Bastian Schweinsteiger, praising the next opponents for their “high level in terms of tactics” and the “incredibly smart” players in their squad. Weinzierl was at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night to take a closer look at FC Bayern ahead of Saturday’s league clash. “It won’t be easy but we obviously want all three points,” said Schweinsteiger.