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Derby against Augsburg

Reds target confidence-boosting result

It’s derby time at the Allianz Arena in Saturday’s third to last match of the Bundesliga season when FC Bayern entertain fellow Bavarians FC Augsburg (Live in English from 15:30 CET on Twitter and Web Radio). FCB’s main aim is to secure a morale-boosting result prior to the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona next Tuesday, but FCA are desperate for points in their quest for a Europa League berth.

“We’ll play with one eye on next Tuesday,” said boss Pep Guardiola, making no secret of the fact the Catalans are his top priority at present. However, a home win against FCA would be good for his players’ confidence prior to the return against the team who top Spain’s La Liga. “We have to play as well as possible – we owe it to the fans,” Guardiola insisted.

Fortunately, the clash at Camp Nou last Wednesday produced no new injuries. “Obviously there’ll be a bit of rotation against Augsburg,” announced Guardiola. Bayern are without Rico Strieder, who made his Bundesliga debut in Leverkusen last week: the FCB II captain has torn a muscle.

No favours

The build-up to the Barcelona showdown means that concentrating fully on Augsburg is “not easy,” Guardiola admitted. The return against Barca is simply too important and FC Bayern have already hit their target in the domestic league. By contrast, all Munich’s domestic opponents do have targets, whether direct qualification for the Champions League (Leverkusen last week), Europa League (Augsburg) or avoiding relegation (Freiburg next week).

However, Guardiola insisted his team would be focused and hard-working. FCA boss Markus Weinzierl, in charge in the Bundesliga for the 100th time on Saturday, cannot expect the champions to offer any favours. Augsburg are troubled by a crop of injuries. Apart from the players already definitely sidelined, there are question-marks over FCB loanee Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, attacker Dong-Won Ji (both sprains) and wide man Tobias Werner (back).

Infos zum Gegner FC Augsburg:

  • Unavailable: Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker (torn ankle ligaments), Caiuby (torn muscle), Jan Moravek (sprain), Raphael Framberger (knee surgery), Shawn Parker, Dominik Reinhardt (not match fit)

  • Captain Paul Verhaegh: “Every one of us will have to give everything if we’re to perform at our best as a team. Bayern aren’t any worse just because they’ve had the Champions League game, because every player in the Bayern squad has huge potential. But we’ll do whatever we can to get a result. If we play well and Bayern have an off day, anything could happen.”