Created on 06-05-2016 at 15:30 PM
A week after failing to secure the Bundesliga title at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach, FC Bayern have a second chance to claim their 26th German championship in the last away match of the season, the short trip to FC Ingolstadt on Saturday (Live in English from 15.30 CET on Twitter and FCB.tv Web Radio). Victory against Die Schanzer would seal the league crown regardless of results elsewhere, while even a draw or defeat would still be enough if sole remaining rivals Dortmund fail to win at Frankfurt.
“We’d like to avoid the pressure situation of having to take a point or win against Hannover on the last day,” observed captain Philipp Lahm prior to the Bavarian derby against the promoted club, who achieved their target of retaining their top flight status two weeks ago. “We want to wrap the thing up on Saturday,” Thomas Müller defiantly stated in the aftermath of last Tuesday’s unlucky Champions League exit against Atlético Madrid.
Following the near miss in Europe’s elite club competition the squad were given a day off to refocus mentally and rebuild their physical strength before the final push for a record fourth straight domestic title. “We each needed the day to ourselves,” explained keeper Manuel Neuer, who is looking forward to his maiden appearance at the Audi Sportpark. “It’s a special match, Ingolstadt is basically just around the corner,” Neuer said.
Guardiola: It’ll be complicated
FCB had only a couple of days to shake off their disappointment following the Atlético match, “and that’s obviously not easy,” commented boss Pep Guardiola. “We were really up for reaching the Champions League final. But we have to switch our focus to the next match immediately.” However, the 45-year-old admonished, the side lying ninth in the standings are having “an incredible season. It’ll be a complicated match.”
FCI are unbeaten at home in 2016 and have claimed the scalps of Mönchengladbach and Schalke among others. Neuer recalled FCB’s hard-earned 2-0 success in the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena, where Ingolstadt “gave a very good performance. It wasn’t easy for us and I’m sure it’ll be the same at their place,” said the World’s Best Keeper. “We have to dig deep and give our all, win the game and settle the title race.”
There is of course another trophy still to be won this term. “We still have two targets. I hope we win our last three matches and end up celebrating the league and cup double,” declared Robert Lewandowski, who is also in pole position to finish as the league’s top scorer. However, the first task is to overcome FCI, who will doubtless work doubly hard in coach Ralph Hasenhüttl’s farewell home match. “We don’t want an away team celebrating the title at our place,” stated Ingolstadt striker Stefan Lex.
Build-up news from FC Ingolstadt:
- Unavailable: Robert Bauer (suspended), Danilo (sports rehab), Christiansen (ankle)
- Assistant coach Michael Henke: "We showed what we can do tactically in the reverse fixture and there won’t be much of a change to that. I don’t believe in parking the bus against Bayern and getting blown away. We’re at home and we’ll approach the game with optimism and in an attacking mood. You only have one chance against opponents of this calibre, which is to be courageous and confident. We’ll throw everything we’ve got at it one last time for our fans and to round off the season well."