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Arrival in Guangzhou

Pep: I’ll field our big-name players

Another new city - another great reception. “The number of Bayern fans here in China is gigantic. We're looking forward to tomorrow,” said Manuel Neuer shortly after the arrival of the FC Bayern party in Guangzhou on Wednesday.

About two hours after their departure from Shanghai the Munich stars arrived at the airport near the third-largest Chinese city at 1.38 local time (7.38 CET). The third and last friendly match of the Audi Summer Tour against current Chinese champions (and record champions) Guangzhou Evergrande takes place at Tianhe Stadium on Thursday at 13.35 CET.

“We're up against probably the best Chinese team,” said Pep Guardiola, who knows the team coached by Felipe Scolari from the FIFA Club World Cup one and a half years ago. “It's our last game. We'll try to do our best,” assured the FCB head coach, announcing that “the fans will see our big players, but I don't know for how many minutes.” Manuel Neuer will be the skipper because Philipp Lahm is not in the starting line-up, added Guardiola.

Overall, Guardiola is satisfied with the training programe during the China trip. “All my players trained well. We're in good shape. There aren't any new injuries.” There is progress in terms of the integration of the new signings too. “Everything's all right so far,” said the Catalan, welcoming the competition in the team: “The players have to fight every day to be in the line-up. This competitive environment is essential if we want to clinch trophies in the end.”

After five training sessions and two test matches in muggy weather in Beijing and Shanghai Guardiola stepped on the brakes in the even hotter environment of Guangzhou. The training session at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday was relaxed. Lahm, Thomas Müller, Mehdi Benatia, Thiago and Javi Martínez even stayed in the hotel.

Moreover, Guardiola cancelled the session planned for Thursday morning local time. The Reds want to step up and put on a show against Guangzhou Evergrande in the evening. “I hope it’ll be another large crowd and that we'll have a good game,” Neuer declared.

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