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Reunion with Pep

Bayern fired up for Man City friendly

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The ingredients are there for a great game of football at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Saturday evening (19:00 local time). In their second International Champions Cup game on the Audi Summer Tour USA 2018, Bayern face another top side in the form of Manchester City. “They’re a great club with great players,” commented Niko Kovac at the pre-match press conference.

That would be reason enough to look forward to this friendly, but there’ll also be a special reunion as the Premier League champions are managed by ex-Bayern boss Pep Guardiola. “I’m looking forward to the meeting with a coach under whom we had a lot of success. There’s still a little bit of Pep Guardiola at FC Bayern,” said goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

Next step in the development

There’s also a little bit of Pep in Kovac, who spent some time with the then Bayern coach in January 2016. “It was an honour and a pleasure to be there at the training camp in Qatar. He’s the best coach in the world,” reflected the Croatian. Now he wants to show his teacher how much he’s developed in the last two-and-a-half years, and he thus has high hopes for this match.

“I want to see my team find answers,” stated the 46-year-old. “The performance against Juventus was good but there’s still room for improvement. We want to keep improving physically, technically and tactically. I’m hoping to see more progress, as was the case in Philadelphia. We saw a lot of good things there.”

Kovac is set to name a youthful line-up once again. “I’ve been impressed by the young players. We’ve seen good signs,” he praised. He will wait until after the final training session to decide whether Javi Martínez, who went off with a knock on Wednesday, will be involved. “We won’t take any risks,” confirmed the Reds boss. Martínez is currently training individually.