Flick ahead of Leipzig game: 'We can hardly wait'
It's just one week since FC Bayern were able to reclaim top spot in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win at Mainz -- now the record champions have to fend off the first direct challenge from one of the title rivals: FC Bayern entertain second-placed RB Leipzig in the top match at the Allianz Arena (18.00 CET) on Sunday night in the final game of matchday 21. Two days ahead of the clash, coach Hansi Flick gave his assessment of the match -- here are the key statements:
Hansi Flick on...
...the top game against Leipzig: "For a lot of people it's about a so-called final but that doesn't interest me. There are still 13 games to play. A lot can still happen. You have to think game by game and not say now is the absolute highlight. It's a match we can all look forward to. Everybody's keen and can hardly wait. But it's only one game. We have to try and win."
...on FCB's strengths: "We want to be strong in every game. We've succeeded in regaining top spot. The team have shown what enormous strength and quality they have. I can remember a lot of comments after the Gladbach game (2-1 defeat in December, ed.). The team has put a lot right but we keep on going. Every matchday, you're judged on your performances."
...the leader Joshua Kimmich: "Joshua Kimmich is one of our important players and he has a key position. I like players who come forward and say what they think. He still young, he'll be 25 next and he's at an age where he can definitely still develop. But he's on the right track and I'm very happy with his progress."
...the squad for the Leipzig game: "Kingsley (Coman, ed.) will be back in the squad. We're all looking forward to that. At the moment there are three players unavailable: Niklas Süle, Javi Martinez and the recently injured Ivan Perišić. Everybody else is available for the game."
...the clash of coaches with Julian Nagelsmann: "It's not a game between coaches but rather a game decided on the pitch. I rate Julian very highly. He has a good philosophy, clear thinking of how he wants to see his team play. The position Leipzig are in now and the way they've performed this season show they are a top team. Regardless of the last games, you have to say they have enormous quality. It will definitely be a good and interesting game for the fans."
...Robert Lewandowski's goals return: For me, Robert is the best central striker, his goals return is sensationally good. He's really fit. Therefore we are happy to have him and his quality in the team. Even working against the ball he makes things happen and that's important for the team. That makes him even more valuable because that helps him lead the team. He has outstanding quality in front of goal, the like of which I've never seen before."