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Reds defy the rain

Mainz build-up: 'We mustn't drop points'

In terms of the weather, the start to the week could have been better at the Säbener Strasse: it was cold with persistent rain on Monday morning. That didn’t prevent Pep Guardiola scheduling a training session at short notice. While the starting XI from Wolfsburg performed regeneration exercises, the FCB head coach began preparing for Wednesday's Bundesliga fixture against Mainz with Arturo Vidal, Mario Götze, Rafinha, Mehdi Benatia, Sebastian Rode, Serdar Tasci and a number of junior players.

“This week is very complicated for us, it's one of the most important weeks of the season,” commented defender Rafinha, who is set to return against Mainz after serving a one-match ban. “We know we mustn't drop any points at this stage in the competition.” The Reds aim to take on chief rivals Dortmund in Saturday's top clash with at least an eight-point lead.

However, Rafinha cautioned: “I've been here at Bayern for some years now and I speak from experience: Mainz are always difficult and unpleasant opponents.” Opponents who are in contention for a Champions League qualifying spot after downing Leverkusen 3-1 on Sunday: the victory propelled Mainz up to fifth in the Bundesliga.